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Extra police officers for North Yorkshire

Extra police officers for North Yorkshire

Published at 11:00am 29th January 2016. (Updated at 12:32pm 3rd February 2016)

North Yorkshire is set to get more police officers over the next two years.

Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has announced plans to increase numbers to 1,400.

A recruitment drive is also aiming to boost numbers of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from 183 to 200.

Police officer levels were reduced from the budgeted number of 1,392 to 1,343 after recommendations from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Policing (HMIC) and strong indications of further Government funding cuts of 20 to 40%.

Cuts on that scale could have made it necessary to reduce numbers even further, to 1,298 by the end of 2016/17.

However, Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review surprised forces across the country by maintaining the overall budget for policing.

Mrs Mulligan said: "Our fortunes have significantly improved - shortly before Christmas, it would have been necessary to reduce our resources quite considerably over the next few years. I am very pleased to say that we're now in a completely different position, where we can boost police officer and PCSO numbers.

"However, this does not mean we will hold off the efficiency plans we have in place. The taxpayers of North Yorkshire would expect nothing less and we will continue to work towards delivering major savings by working more effectively. This is still very much the right thing to do, as the consequence is our ability to invest in frontline services, just as we are announcing today.

"There remains one caveat to the good news - we await the results of the Government's review of the funding formula. Should this change significantly, then we will review our position accordingly.

"Our priorities are set out in the Police and Crime Plan, which has been shaped by the public. The increase in officer and PCSO numbers means we are in a stronger position to deliver our goals - protecting vulnerable people, cutting crime and anti-social behaviour and providing a better service to victims of crime."

Chief Constable Dave Jones added: "This time last year, we believed that the police service would be facing yet more budget cuts, and that some very tough decisions would have to be made about the size of the service.

"As it has turned out, the financial picture is much better than anyone could have predicted, and the Commissioner’s announcement today is very positive and encouraging news for North Yorkshire Police.

"We have had plans in preparation for a while to boost the level of resources we devote to supporting the most vulnerable people in our society, rural policing and road safety. Now we can get on with delivering those plans, and putting more resource into the areas of greatest risk, without having to reduce our capacity in other areas of the service."