Crime tsar brings in PR firm as head of communications

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A YORKSHIRE police force which spent £35,000 for a team of consultants to review the work of its communications unit has hired a public relations company to head up the department.

North Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner has appointed Harrogate-based firm Cicada Communications as her force’s interim head of communications for six months while the post is filled permanently.

She announced in November she would be appointing a head of communication for a salary of between £64,472 and £71,882 per year. Officials say the six-month contract will cost the same as having a permanent head.

A spokesman for police commissioner Julia Mulligan said Cicada was appointed after a “competitive pitch” and would work with bosses to help the force become more responsive. He said: “Communications within the policing environment is critical to operational success as information from the public and others is at the heart of effective policing and community engagement.”

Last year Leeds consultants Finn Communications were hired to review the force’s communications at a cost of nearly £35,000.

Mike Stubbs of North Yorkshire’s Police Federation said: “We would expect to see clear evidence, on completion of this project, that it has proved to be value for money and has resulted in a more effective policing service to the public.”

Carl Les, chairman of the North Yorkshire police and crime panel, said Cicada was “as good a PR company as we are going to get in North Yorkshire”.