North Yorkshire Police is to launch a recruitment drive in a bid to raise its officer numbers to 1,400 after avoiding swingeing cuts in last year’s Government spending review.
The scheme announced by crime commissioner Julia Mulligan would see the force’s manpower rise from its current level of 1,343 and the number of Police Community Support Officers rise from 183 to 200.
Though the force has not had to make savings like those in neighbouring West Yorkshire, it has fewer employees than 2010, when it had 1,486 officers and 198 PCSOs. The cuts expected in November’s Autumn Statement would have meant officer numbers could have fallen as low as 1,298, according to Mrs Mulligan.
But George Osborne’s decision to maintain the overall policing budget, assuming forces increase their share of council tax by 1.99 per cent, has meant North Yorkshire Police is now in a better position.
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.”