Norfolk police have defended spending more than half a million pounds on hire cars.

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A Freedom Of Information request revealed that, in 2012/13, the force spent £583,733 on hire vehicles.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “Norfolk is a rural county and with many departments now collaborated with Suffolk Constabulary, it is important that officers and staff have vehicles available to carry out their roles.

“Whilst response vehicles are purchased, unmarked vehicles for general transport are often hired which provides flexibility and short-term cover when vehicles are damaged or faulty.

“Fleet is a collaborated department with a joint budget which regularly assesses the vehicles it operates, and where appropriate vehicles are bought as part of an ongoing replacement process to ensure long-term costs are kept to a minimum

“Purchase and hire contracts are always subject to competitive tender.

“Wherever possible we encourage officers and staff in both counties to use force vehicles rather than their own as this is most cost effective.”

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