Just to clarify, Harrogate station does not currently have a control room.
This will have no impact on the people of Harrogate; in fact the Police have stated that believe call-handing services and the dispatch of officers will improve in all areas of the forces.
The Strategic Leadership Team and Directors met yesterday (Monday 4 April) to finalise plans which are part of Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell’s wider change programme to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.
Work will begin immediately to reconfigure the Force Control Room (FCR) at Fulford Road, York. This is expected to be completed by 7 July.
The control room site at Newby Wiske will remain fully operational in the meantime. As part of the resilience plan which includes mutual aid arrangements with neighbouring forces, 12 FCR ports will also be retained in the building as it moves into alternative use.
Assistant Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, who is overseeing the changes, said: “The Force Control Room is the vital hub of all key policing activity. For North Yorkshire Police, its effectiveness is now more important than ever as we fully embrace the single Basic Command Unit structure in which specialist resources are allocated from the centre.
“From all the in depth analysis of emergency and non-emergency call-handling demand and the critical command functions associated with the control room, we firmly concluded that centralising the control room in York was the most efficient and effective way forward.
“The consolidation of having our control room on a single site will ensure the best and most appropriate use of resources to support Safer Neighbourhood Teams to keep communities safe and respond more effectively to serious incidents. The change also offers the very best opportunity for North Yorkshire Police to actually improve its already high level of service through this new streamlined approach.
ACC Madgwick added: “The move to a centralised control room is all about securing a sustainable and successful future for North Yorkshire Police at a time when funding has decreased significantly.
“It won’t be easy, and we are all fully aware of the difficult and painful decisions that have had to be made, but we strongly believe that we can achieve our ultimate aim of ‘doing more with less’ and ensuring North Yorkshire and the City of York remains one of the safest and low-crime areas in the country.”
North Yorkshire Police is not yet in a position to confirm how many staff members, including those from the Force Control Room, will be leaving the organisation.
The 90-day period of employee consultation concluded on 31 March. Staff members affected by the changes are now attending one-to-one meetings to discuss their options, which include redeployment and voluntary redundancy.
A further announcement will be made by North Yorkshire Police later this week regarding more key changes to the organisation in the effort to provide the best and most cost-effective policing service possible for our communities.