John Bradley, fleet manager for Hampshire Police, said: 'We looked at the costs of running our fleet of bikes as they can be quite high. We believe they are not as fuel-efficient as cars and maintenance costs such as replacing tyres can also be quite high. For a similar price, you can buy a small car which would also accommodate other people.'
Wholelife costs and aspects of risk management were also assessed alongside the methods of policing for motorcycles. Police bikes have additional requirements in comparison to ordinary motorcycle fleets. As special equipment is required, the handling and weight of the bike can be affected. It can also increase the drag of the machine, which in turn affects the fuel economy.
'Motorcycles also have costs such as training officers to use the bikes and providing additional uniform,' Bradley said.
Despite cutting its fleet, Hampshire Police does not intend to further reduce numbers in the near future. Bradley added: 'Even though we have reduced the motorcycle fleet, we have re-invested the money in police cars, mainly Volvo V70s but also traffic vehicles and the new model Ford Fiestas.'