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North Yorkshire Police appoint Harrogate PR agency as interim Communications Manager

A Harrogate-based PR company has been appointed to cover the role of Communication Manager role for the North Yorkshire Police.

The appointment is on an interim basis of 6 months, at a cost of £40K and has been awarded to Cicada Communications.

North Yorkshire Police followed a competitive tender process, in which both individuals and agencies were invited to apply. They received 8 responses which were assessed by a panel consisting of the Deputy Chief Constable, Chief Executive Officer and the Police and Crime Commissioner.

30 applications have also been received for the permanent Communication Manager role with a short-list currently being interviewed. The full-time role attracts a salary £64,472-£71,882 per annum.

The Head of Communications will be responsible for the police service’s operational communications. They will also ensure that the Police and Crime Commissioner has the resources for her own communications requirements. However, day-to-day management of the Police and Crime Commissioners communications will be the responsibility of her public engagement officer, who reports to the Commissioners Chief of Staff.

Senior Management Salaries in the North Yorkshire Police

  • Chief Constable £133K
  • Deputy Chief Constable £109K
  • Assistant Chief Constable (two positions) £105K
  • Chief Executive Officer £103K

Police and Crime Commissioner Office Salaries

  • Crime Commissioner £70k
  • Chief of staff £35K

In 2013/14, the Crime Commissioner’s budget is £963,860 (excluding community safety projects). This is a reduction from the previous Police Authority Budget, which was £1.08m. The overall Police budget for that period is £148,296m

Chief Constable Dave Jones said: Effective communications are vital for a modern police service and it’s important that the head of the department has the necessary skills, experience and expertise to lead staff who deal with very complex and sensitive issues within a fast-paced environment.

The role of communications within the police service is unique and wide-ranging. External communication is used as an investigative tool – be that through the media, web-based channels or face-to-face contact with the public, and is crucial to support our investigations – from missing people to murders.

It also plays a big role in warning and informing members of the public about issues that could affect them, from an environmental disaster to a crime prevention issue.

A good communications strategy should not be underestimated and can result in swift crime prevention and detection, saving thousands of officers’ hours, freeing up staff to get on with policing.

Effective internal communication with staff is vital to the efficient running of an organisation, in particular the police service which needs its staff to be flexible, resilient and able to cope with the demands placed on them. They need to be supported, informed and provided with the relevant information and tools to do their job.

It is essential that we recruit the right person for this hugely demanding role, and to that end, we have a robust recruitment process in place and will take time to ensure that the best candidate for the job is found.”


Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: The Chief Constable and I are in full agreement about the crucial importance of communications to the effectiveness of operational policing. What’s more, at present a senior police officer runs the communications team. It is clear that police powers are not required for this essential support role and that a communications professional would do two things: improve the service to the public and allow the senior officer to devote more of their time to front-line policing.

Any attempt to portray this appointment as anything other than an important move to improve the service to the public and enhance the capabilities of North Yorkshire police demonstrates a poor understanding of modern day policing and the need to effectively work with the public in keeping us all safe.

The decision to appoint a Communication Manager was made before the outcome a controversial Communications review costing £35K.

The crime commissioners role still remains unclear to the majority of the general public, with few being able to put a name to the role or explain what it is about. Julia Mulligan has an indifferent relationship with many of the regional media outlets, demonstrated by a pre-emptive statement in her quote that if the decision is portrayed as anything other than positive then there is lack of understanding in modern policing.

The main police press office is highly regarded in media circles, but an external Communications Manager could greatly improve the communications and profile of the Crime Commissioner – this appointment should be welcomed.

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