The future of policing in Harrogate is in safe hands after the permanent appointments of two senior officers in the area.
Superintendent Barry Smith has been confirmed as Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Commander and Inspector Bruce Prendergast takes over the Harrogate Town Safer Neighbourhood Team.
Both officers have a wealth of policing experience which they hope will benefit the communities of Harrogate.
Supt Barry Smith began his career with Greater Manchester Police 29 years ago, before moving to North Yorkshire where he has spent 14 years working in various roles.
He has experience in the position of tactical firearms commander, has policed large protests at Menwith Hill and Drax PowerStation and has served as the Safer Neighbourhood Commander for Richmondshire, Selby and Craven.
Supt Smith has worked to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in each of the districts he has commanded and is achieving similar success in Harrogate.
I am delighted to have been appointed as Safer Neighbourhood Commander for Harrogate. This year is an exciting one for the local policing teams and presents some exceptional challenges for both policing and community safety.
We are all very exited about our move to the new police station at Beckwith Knoll, the Queen’s Jubilee and the Olympic Torch celebrations along with our usual summer events.
Planning for the events is well underway and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver a safe and very enjoyable summer.
While planning for the summer months we will be continuing our focus and efforts towards reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. We will also be strengthening our links to our local communities and working together to make Harrogate even safer.
Inspector Prendergast has 16 years of policing experience, having joined West Yorkshire Police in 1995 where he served in various roles including community policing, response, CID and as a custody officer.
He was involved in the policing of the Bradford riots and gained expertise as a drugs specialist, in surveillance and as a public order commander at major sporting events.
In December 2004 Insp Prendergast joined North Yorkshire Police taking on a role in Safer Neighbourhoods development. His contribution helped to increase detection rates and led to the excellent levels of crime reduction which have made North Yorkshire and the City of York the safest county in England.
He is also a qualified firearms commander and has experience of managing critical incidents.
Insp Prendergast is looking forward to his new role serving the communities of Harrogate.
Inspector Bruce Prendergast:
I intend to ensure that people living and working in Harrogate continue to receive an excellent service from North Yorkshire Police.
Working with our partners, we will continue to relentlessly tackle criminality and anti-social behaviour while also consulting with our communities to ensure that we are addressing the issues which matter to them.
Restorative justice is something which I am keen to develop to help prevent re-offending and unnecessary criminalisation. However, we will vigorously pursue and disrupt the lives of the minority of people continue to commit offences and cause disruption to the rest of the community.
Insp Prendergast is a member of the police national high potential development scheme and has a post graduate diploma in police leadership and management.