Chief Constable Dave Jones and Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, have (11 June 2014) published plans about a new Operational Policing Model (OPM) designed to protect and enhance front-line visible policing services in North Yorkshire for years to come.
- Introduction of a cyber crime unit
- Protection of front-line police numbers
- Reduction in Inspector and Sergeant ranks
- £10million investment in technology including hand-held mobile devices and enhanced ANPR
- Reduction on bureaucracy allowing more time on front-line policing
- Specialist investigation hubs
The Chief Constable and Commissioner have committed to maintaining the operational strength of North Yorkshire Police at 1,392 police officers and 183 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
This will help to provide the visible and responsive police service that residents have demanded in the recent Police and Crime Plan survey, and is aimed to deliver the Commissioner’s “Be safe, Feel Safe” commitment to local people.
The OPM will also provide significant and tangible improvements to the policing service for victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.
In an innovative overhaul of how North Yorkshire Police operates, a new approach is being developed which puts victims’ needs at the heart of a more bespoke service. The THRIVE model, which assesses threat, harm, risk, investigation, vulnerability and engagement, allows us to tailor our service to the needs of each victim and puts officers and staff where they are needed most.
Key to enable the new approach is a £10 million investment in technology.
Handheld mobile devices will be introduced enabling officers to complete records without the need to return to a police station.These devices will give officers access to intelligence-based systems, will be used for photographic evidence gathering and may have ANPR capability in the future.
The use of video conferencing will cut down on travelling to meetings, and a specialist deployment system will further improve efficiency and performance.
Boosting the ongoing cross-border and rural crime campaign Operation Hawk, a £1m investment in North Yorkshire Police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) capability is also planned.
This investment will significantly increase the time that our officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) spend in our communities.
The OPM also proposes to create new Investigation Hubs at York, Harrogate, Scarborough and Northallerton (or at the new Northern Base when built) to speed up the delivery of justice; the formation of a new ‘Citizens in Policing’ board that will increase and make better use of the Special Constabulary and other volunteers; and a ‘Time for Policing’ initiative to cut bureaucracy at all levels and oversee professional development. Importantly, the police service will be setting up its first dedicated Cyber Crime Unit to tackle the growing problem of online fraud and other issues such as offences against children.
These proposals, which are now undergoing public consideration and are intended to ensure North Yorkshire Police has the flexibility to adapt to any future financial changes by enhancing the organisation’s capability to deliver a service with fewer resources.
Chief Constable Dave Jones said: By listening to what local people care about most and expect from their police service in North Yorkshire, the proposed Operational Policing Model is specifically designed to protect and enhance front-line visible policing. We recognise that as society changes, so must the way we deliver policing services. Hence we are enhancing our capability to deal with existing and emerging challenges, including support for the most vulnerable people in our communities, and the fight against growing demands such as cyber crime.
We have made a commitment to maintain officer numbers at their current levels, and this has been a priority through the development of the new model. Once delivered, the OPM will ensure North Yorkshire Police has the flexibility to adapt to future financial changes by enhancing the organisation’s capability to deliver a service with fewer resources. We plan to achieve this through an innovative overhaul of how we operate.
Victims are at the heart of what we do. We will provide a much more bespoke service to each person based on the THRIVE model, which assesses threat, harm, risk, investigation, vulnerability and engagement. This means we can tailor our service so it best meets the needs of victims and puts our officers and staff where they are needed most.
Chief Constable Jones added: A review of supervisory ranks will boost the number of constables by 20 who directly support community policing. We are also reviewing our senior rank structure to ensure it is fit for the future. When completed, the reviews are expected to deliver more than £1 million in savings but we are still investing close to £10 million in technology.
I am passionate about keeping officers visible in our communities. I believe this is crucial to successful policing and I know this is what the public want to see too. The investment in technology is designed to support this, by enabling us to be more responsive.
We are cutting bureaucracy through a ‘Time for Policing Initiative’. New mobile devices will enable officers and staff to remain visible and accessible within our communities. We will be able to pinpoint where our resources are needed to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, which will ensure North Yorkshire Police is even more productive and continues to offer value for money.
Our police staff are key to achieving our objectives, including the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan and our mission to be the most responsive police service in England. We will continue to support our front-line service delivery with a skilled, appropriately staffed and modern support infrastructure.
The OPM will also allow us to increase the number of Special Constables and provide a greater and more focused involvement of volunteers within the organisation, which again will strengthen North Yorkshire Police’s visible presence in the towns and villages across the area.
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: Notwithstanding the years of austerity, we are announcing a major investment in North Yorkshire Police for the long term, which has at its heart the central objective to increase the visibility of policing in our local communities.
Making it easier for officers to do their jobs on the move, without having to come back to the station to fill in and submit paperwork, will mean more time spent on the beat serving the public and arresting criminals.
The OPM has also analysed how policing is changing, setting up the force for the future so that it is better placed to tackle crime over the coming years. For example, for the first time, North Yorkshire Police will have a dedicated Cyber Crime Unit.
We now need to discuss these proposals with local communities, and ensure they understand what’s needed of a modern and effective police service.
For Harrogate, Neighbourhood Officers and PCSO numbers will be maintained at current levels – 19 Neighbourhood Officers and 24 PCSOs.
The OPM has been in development for the past eight months under the direction of Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy.
Subject to consideration, all OPM proposals will be implemented in a phased approach between now and 2016.
The OPM will ensure North Yorkshire Police is able to deliver the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan which is currently out for consultation. Please go to www.northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan to have your say on “The Big Police Debate”.
For more information about the Operational Policing Model proposals please visit www.northyorkshire.police.uk/OPM
Members of the public can give feedback about the proposals in the following ways:
By post: OPM Office, North Yorkshire Police HQ, Newby Wiske, Northallerton, DL7 9HA
In person: Visit your local police station. Copies of the OPM report are available to read.