Harrogate Police Station is to have shorter opening hours and will close at 8pm rather than 10pm.
The change comes following the acceptance by the Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan of a recommendations from the Chief Constable, Lisa Winward.
The front counters of police stations in York, Scarborough and Harrogate will close two hours earlier from Monday, 15 October 2018
. This will have no impact on the 24-hour operation of the station themselves which remains unchanged.
Analysis has shown that, on average, fewer than four people each day visit each station between 8pm and 10pm. The majority of these visits are in relation to custody or for pre-arranged appointments, both of which can be met by staff and officers on duty at the station, such as custody staff, and do not require the front counter to be open.
The change in hours are expected to result in savings of nearly £150,000 per year and Julia Mulligan agrees that the short reduction in hours to allow this money to be invested elsewhere in policing across the county is the right decision.
Julia Mulligan said:
With the changing nature of policing, and the way many of us now live large parts of our lives online, it is inevitably affecting how the public interact with the police. This is something the police are still getting to grips with, and a lot more needs to be done to improve access to policing online and improve customer service, both of which are part of my police and crime plan.
These changes are already having an impact on the numbers of people visiting police stations, which is getting fewer and fewer, especially in late evenings. Our front counter team provide an excellent service, but it does not make sense for them to be staffing the front counter when they’re rarely being used. I am sure taxpayers will agree that there are better ways we can use the £150,000 expected to be saved.
North Yorkshire Police is continuing to develop the ways in which the public can get in touch to report concerns, ask questions and receive information, ensuring there are more digital means to access policing. Along with the increasing use of the 101 service, the need to visit a police station at these hours is expected to continue to reduce.