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North Yorkshire police respond to funding cuts


11:45am 2nd July 2012

Almost 6,000 fewer officers will be on the policing frontline in three years' time as a result of the Government's budget cuts, figures showed today.

A fifth of front counters in police stations will also close, the report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) found.

There will be 5,800 fewer frontline officers, but the proportion of officers on the frontline will increase to between 81% and 95% as the number of non-frontline officers is almost halved, with 7,600 going by 2015, the report said.

Some 137 police access counters, such as in libraries and supermarkets, will also open to help offset the closure of 264 front desks.

The figures do not include those for Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, or for Cheshire, as they have not yet produced their plans.

In the last year, the overall police workforce has been reduced by 17,600 officers and staff, more than half of the total reductions planned by March 2015, the inspectorate added.

North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Police Authority and ACPO responses to the report are outlined below

Temporary Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

“The HMIC report confirms that North Yorkshire Police is fighting fit having undergone the single, most significant re-organisation in its history to meet the funding challenges that we were presented with in October 2010.

“I am extremely proud of everyone connected to the force who have worked so hard under very difficult circumstances during this transformation period.

“That we managed to maintain and, indeed, improve performance in cutting crime and anti-social behaviour, is testament to the high level of service our officers, police staff and partners deliver to the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York.

“The change process was necessary to ensure that North Yorkshire Police continues to provide excellent value for money and a secure a stable financial future

“We have achieved this by reducing costs in our administrative and back office functions, whilst continuing to invest in high-calibre officers and staff who interact directly with the public.

“We will, of course,  guard against any hint of complacency. We are constantly seeking improvements to become ever more effective and efficient in how we deliver a high-level of service to our communities.”

Councillor Jane Kenyon, Chairman of North Yorkshire Police Authority (NYPA), said

“The challenge posed to NYPA and the force by the Government for the period to 2014 was to reduce expenditure quite dramatically but at the same time maintain and, if possible, improve performance.

“The Authority is delighted that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has recognised that the Authority, the Chief Constable and all staff of North Yorkshire Police are succeeding in meeting that challenge. It is particularly pleasing that, despite considerable organisational reorganisation, our staff have remained focussed on serving our community to the best of their ability, achieving a hugely impressive reduction in overall crime of almost 9% last year.

“We are proud that North Yorkshire remains one of the safest areas in England and Wales to live.”

Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) lead for performance management, Chief Constable Steve Finnigan, said:

“The police service must close a funding gap of £2.5 billion in today’s prices over the 4 year Comprehensive Spending Review period.  Chief Officers have been preparing for these cuts and there are plans in place across all forces to address this huge challenge for the service.

“This report shows that during the first year of these cuts, we have been able to continue to reduce crime and increase public confidence in policing.  Maintaining this performance will become more difficult as the period progresses. In a service where 80% of our budgets are spent on pay, we will continue to see reductions in police officer and police staff numbers across the country, and all forces will work very hard to mitigate the impact of such significant reductions in the number of our people.

“Chief Officers will continue to invest in areas where the threat to the public is greatest, though not always visible to the public; such as managing sex offenders and tacking serious crime. In other areas we are becoming more flexible in the way we deliver critical services such as neighbourhood policing, local response teams and investigative work, but we will also want to do all we can to retain those elements of British Policing that are most cherished by our communities.

“From November, locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners will want to have detailed conversations with chief officers and the public about what should be prioritised within the available resources. There is a determination among chief officers and across policing to continue to meet the challenge of delivering the best possible policing services to the public.”

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