North Yorkshire’s thin blue line could soon be a bit thicker as the police go on a recruitment drive.
The force is set to take on 57 new officers, plus a further 17 police community support officers (PCSOs).
Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, said the plan to boost police numbers was part of new investment in the force.
There are 1,343 officers in the force at present. That number will rise to 1,400.
And the PCSOs will go from 183 to 200.
Reverses the trend
The force had been reducing numbers, as central government indicated big cuts to the police budget were on the way.
Then Chancellor George Osborne surprised police forces across the country by maintaining the overall budget for policing in his November spending review.
Today’s plans come with a caveat – ministers are reviewing the police funding formula. If this changes significantly the force may need to think again.
As things stand, it is good news for the county, Julia Mulligan said.
More resources for the vulnerable
Chief Constable Dave Jones was clearly relieved. “This time last year we believed that the police service would be facing yet more budget cuts,” he said, “and that some very tough decisions would have to be made about the size of the service.”
Instead the “very positive and encouraging news” meant they could push ahead with plans to spend more on supporting the most vulnerable people in society, rural policing and road safety.
The news comes just over a week after Home Office figures confirmed North Yorkshire as the place with the lowest crime figure in England.
There were a total of 35,615 crimes in North Yorkshire for the year ending in September 2015. That gave a crime rate of 44.2 per 1,000 of the population.
This was a 3% rise in crime in comparison to the same period the previous year, it was below the 6% national increase and took into account improved crime recording standards.