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Page last updated at 10:08 GMT, Tuesday, 1 July 2008 11:08 UK

Speeders to pay for police chases

A US police patrol. File photo
Other police forces in the US are also introducing cost-saving measures

Soaring fuel prices have forced one police force in the US to increase fines for offending motorists.

From 1 July, motorists caught in Holly Springs, Georgia, will have to pay an extra $12 (6) to cover the costs of police chasing them down.

The town's police chief says the "fuel surcharge" will generate up to $26,000 (13,000) in revenue per year.

Recent $4-a-gallon fuel costs have forced other police forces in the US to turn to unusual cost-saving measures.

I was hearing that Delta (Air Lines), pizza deliverers, florists were adding fuel charges to their services, and I thought, why not police departments?
Ken Ball
Holly Springs police chief

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, police patrols are being ordered out of their cars and onto cycle and foot patrols.

In South Fayette, also in Pennsylvania, officers have been told not to sit parked up with air conditioning on.

The local police chief told his patrols: "If you want to stay cool, park under a tree."

Keeping up patrols

Holly Springs' city council approved the $12 surcharge in all fines for those who commit moving violations late on Monday.

It said the plan was aimed at offsetting fuel prices that had already eaten up almost 60% of the police department's fuel budget for 2008.

The town's police chief, Ken Ball, said the measure would help him to keep up patrols.

"I was hearing that Delta (Air Lines), pizza deliverers, florists were adding fuel charges to their services, and I thought, why not police departments?" Mr Ball was quoted as saying by the USA Today newspaper.

Mr Ball said the fine could be lowered or even scrapped if fuel prices returned to last year's levels of $3-a-gallon.



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