Posted on 30 Aug 2016
More police cells are to close within North Yorkshire, as Hambleton and Richmondshire suffer the consequences that have already occurred at Craven and Selby. Northallerton's cells will close for a six month period at the end of September, but Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said the closure was a trial. She said: "I have had extensive discussions on this proposal and will be keeping a weather eye on the pilot as I need to see clear evidence that this is the right thing to do, especially for people in Hambleton and Richmondshire. The Chief Constable and I will also discuss the costs and benefits of the pilot regularly as it progresses."
Acting Deputy Chief Constable Paul Kennedy said the force now placed "much more emphasis on voluntary attendance, rather than detention", and by sharing resources police could "get more value for money".
Mr Kennedy said: "Partially due to these improvements, the number of people booked in to custody at Northallerton has dropped by 34 percent over the past five years."
Mr Kennedy said "there will be no reduction in the number of North Yorkshire Police officers", and "the welfare of detainees will remain paramount".
But Mike Stubbs, chair of North Yorkshire Police Federation said the expense of custody suites was a necessary one, and the change would mean less time on the street for officers.
He said: "There is little doubt that police officers from those districts will be spending far more of their time simply travelling large distances around the county.
This is yet another example of the impact of cuts to police funding, cuts which really are having consequences. The Government appears deaf to those within policing who have raised concerns. I hope this will now act as a catalyst for the public of those districts to voice their concerns to their MP's, who can influence future Government policy."
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