Posted on 30 Aug 2016
POLICE officers in North Yorkshire are owed 8,500 rest days, and the force is "struggling to keep up with demand".
This is the warning from the North Yorkshire Police Federation - the organisation which represents rank and file officers around the county.
Sergeant Mike Stubbs, Federation chair, congratulated Julia Mulligan on her re-election to the role of Police and Crime Commissioner, and encouraged her to "speak up for North Yorkshire and take the fight for proper resourcing for the force all the way to the Home Office".
He said: "Now that the election is over, it is time to take the politics out of policing in this county, and work together to make sure we can continue to keep North Yorkshire the safest county in England. Whenever we raise the issue of officer numbers, we are constantly told that it isn’t about the number of police officers, it is about how they are deployed.
"Well, if it isn’t about numbers, can someone please explain why there are 8,500 cancelled rest days currently owed to police officers in North Yorkshire. Those rest days have been cancelled to meet operational needs. This evidence supports what we are being told by our members, that they are struggling to keep up with demand."
Sgt Stubbs said that resourcing problems traditionally experienced in the summer period, arising from North Yorkshire’s popularity as a tourist destination, were likely to be exacerbated by additional policing requirements, due to fracking protests, and urged Mrs Mulligan to aim higher than the pledge to take officer numbers to 1,400.
He said: "We know we invariably have a huge influx of visitors, and a variety of large scale events across the summer, such as York Races and the Great Yorkshire Show. Cuts to neighbouring forces will limit the support that they can offer us. If we see large scale protests over fracking, it will be a significant challenge for the force."
Julia Mulligan said an ongoing recruitment campaign was already attracting “many high-quality applicants”, which will help increase falling officer numbers and leave the force “in a much stronger position”.
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