Essex Police have been given talking petrol caps to prevent the boys and girls in blue filling up with the wrong pump products.

According to a Telegraph report, the Essex force has been forced to fork out for repairs an astonishing 222 times over the last five years after PCs have inadvertently filled diesel vehicles with petrol, or vice versa.

As well as the new filler caps that remind drivers “this is a diesel vehicle”, patrol vehicles have also been fitted with large yellow flaps over the filler caps emblazoned with a warning message. As part of a real ‘belt and braces’ solution, additional devices are now being installed that should make it physically impossible for a dozy PC to force a petrol pump nozzle into a diesel vehicle’s tank.

A spokeswoman for Essex Police lays much of the blame for this clear waste of police time at the doorstep of the manufacturers.

“The problem is that modern diesels are so good and quiet that drivers can easily be fooled into thinking they run on petrol,” she told the paper’s reporter.

Anyone else thinking police driver training ain’t what it used to be..?