The Met Police may be committed to working for a safer London, but now they are also working for a greener London after deciding to add 117 new Honda Civic Hybrids to its 6000-strong fleet.

The deal represents the biggest ever British fleet deal for alternative fuel cars. The vehicles will be used by Community Support Officers as part of an initiative to increase police presence on the streets. They will not be used as patrol cars.

The Met’s Stuart Middleton said the Hybrids would help meet police requirements and fulfill what he termed a “social responsibility” to try and make the fleet as green as possible. “The police, like many other like-minded people, want to do their bit”, he said. “It’s now widely acknowledged that hybrids provide the middle stepping stone to hydrogen fuel cell cars – our long term goal. Hybrid technology utilises a vehicle that performs in the same way as a conventional car but has the advantage of a reduced emissions footprint.”

Middleton explained that hybrid cars are becoming more financially viable, saying: “We need to balance the desire to produce a vehicle with the lowest environmental impact with the cost to the tax payer that funds the vehicles”.

This is not the first time the Met has dipped its toes in greener waters. Both electric and LPG vehicles have been previously trialled but initiatives have been canned due to a combination of impracticality, reduction in funding and production issues. The Met also plans to be operating four hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010.