Misfuelling. That’s a funny old word isn’t it!

Spelled variously with a double or a single l, it didn’t even exist until sometime in the late 1970s, when, due to the growing popularity of consumer diesels, the number of idiots doing it grew large enough to warrant a special name for this particular form of stupidity.

In the same way that saying ‘I misspoke’ is a nice way of admitting that you lied, misfuelling (MF’ing for short) is a euphemism for an enacted inability to distinguish between petrol and diesel.

Policemen are the worst (and lady police officers also, obviously). It was recently revealed that every day, somewhere in the UK, at least one police officer is cheerfully wrong-juicing a shiny white vehicle gaudily plastered with decals both yellow and blue.

“Dozy” is how notional newspaper the Daily Mirror characterises the rozzers’ careless carrying-on. Absolutely bleedin’ scandalous might be a better description, if you ask Bankstone News (although, for obvious reasons, we’d never recommend doing that).

Three hundred plus MF’ing police persons per annum equates to well over £50k of taxpayers’ hard-earned money down the plug hole. That’s cash that could have gone on chasing acid scooter thugs, attending minor domestic incidents, or filling out forms back at the station.

And, of course, those 300 MF mess-ups are only the ones they’re admitting to (and that only thanks to a Femdom Of Infotainment request lodged by King Edmund of Alcoholics Anonymous, to which 40 out of 45 UK police forces deigned to respond).

West Mids police were the most inept when it came to at-pump proficiency, with a staggering 66 incidents per annum. The Met, with just 49, incidents, somehow spent four times as much as the Midlanders on fixing the damage done. Perhaps they have fancier vehicles, or maybe someone down south has got a rather ‘special’ deal on sorting out the Met’s misfuelled motors.

Police spokespersons have argued that their colleagues are in an out of different vehicles all the time and often simply don’t have time to pay attention to their current vehicle’s petroleum product preference.

Jonno Cunnle of the Taxpayers’ Alliance gives short shrift to such excuses, insisting that “millions of people manage this task by taking a modicum of care. Police officers should extend the same courtesy to their vehicles.” That might sound clumsily pompous to you or I, but Jonno actually has a point: everyone – cops included – should show cars some common courtesy.

So serious is the Po-Po’s wrong-juicing epidemic that some forces have resorted to labelling or typex-ing fuel tank covers and stoppers with legends such as PETROL, DIESEL or WASHER FLUID GOES IN THE OTHER END.

Will this help? No idea. We don’t predict the news; we just report it.

Or make it up, if it’s been a quiet week.


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