It is impossible to even speculate how the politically incorrect DCI Gene Hunt would have reacted, but South Yorkshire’s current generation of thief-takers now go about their work with an easy environmental conscience.
So while the errant police chief became a household name with his catchphrase “Fire up the Quattro” in 1980s Ashes to Ashes mode, his real life contemporaries in the South Yorkshire force might be more likely to bark “Charge up the hybrid”.
After almost a decade pursuing a sustainability agenda, the force has smashed its 2020 target for cutting carbon emissions early and now even horseshoes from the mounted section are carefully disposed of to minimise harm to the planet.
While car pursuits will still occur – where necessary – Hunt’s day to day antics in his Ford Cortina and Audi Quattro just wouldn’t happen. Because he’d have taken part in what the force calls eco-driver training, so would know not to waste petrol.
If the current situation, which includes removing coal fired boilers, installing solar panels, ground and air source heat pumps could have had an exasperated Hunt reaching for his book of expletives, he’d have worse to endure next year.
The force is gearing up to mark a decade of sustainability with a new strategy to be introduced in March.
That is expected to include new ideas which will build on current successes, which have seen carbon output down by 45 per cent, against a target to reduce it by 30 per cent before 2020.
Already the force has a fleet of ten hybrid Vauxhall cars and 11 electric vans, with drivers using conventional powertrains now taught how to minimise their fuel use.
Doncaster’s new police station is expected to be a benchmark for the use of ‘green’ technologies, with lessons already learned from the installation of alternative fuel sources at police buildings including the Barnsley station, operations complex and custody suite in Sheffield and Maltby police station.
Snig Hill police station has been hooked into Sheffield’s heat recovery scheme, powered by the Bernard Road incinerator and heat will be recovered from deep underground at the Niagara complex where police dogs live when a new pump is installed.
Details of the developments were provided by the force’s sustainability manager, Danielle Taylor, at a meeting of Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billing’s Public Accountability Board, where he holds the force to account.
Few areas of policing will escape scrutiny, with the force about to invest in some electric off road bikes to help cut pollution while maintaining its work in controlling a problem which frustrates many communities.
Dr Billings said: “If South Yorkshire Police isn’t the greenest police force in the country, it would be nice to know who is.”