NYP: Chief Constable Comments On Budget Cuts
- – Crime & Parliamentary Affairs correspondent TIM HICKS reports on North Yorkshire Police budget cuts.
The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police has commented on the impact of budget cuts on his force. Quoted in the Harrogate Advertiser, the Chief Constable said that his force was shifting resources and making better use of technology:
“We are changing the way we do things because we don’t need as many people doing things that they would have done or we are now working with other forces.
The move is reflecting what we are already aware of. There’s an issue in children safely using the internet because criminals can operate in a particular way. In response, we have already set up a cyber crime unit and that is the direction we are trying to move in, so we are having to shift resources. We are still trying to continue our front line commitment to neighbourhood policing but in order to do that we need to do things slightly different.”
Full article here
However, other than broad generalisations, the Chief Constable did not give any details or figures.
To gain a better understanding of the impact of these cuts, the NYE can do no better than publish a most articulate letter from the North Yorkshire Police Federation.
It has to be said that the North Yorkshire Police has a very poor history when it comes to financial control. Indeed it is arguably the worst performing force in the country and has been rocked by a series of financial scandals involving unjustifiable personal payments to Chief Officers, ‘authorised’ by the now defunct North Yorkshire Police Authority.
- The £28,000 shower for Chief Constable Della Canning
- The £100,000 of illegal allowances siphoned off to Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs. Full story here and here.
Throughout the investigation, DCC Briggs maintained his right to silence and refused to co-operate with the investigation. In the words of IPCC Commissioner Nicholas Long (ret’d):
“It is utterly unacceptable that more than £30,000 of public funds can be handed to an officer without any means to audit how that money is used. Although the police authority stipulated what the money was to be used for, they did not check. Although Mr Briggs has retired, one would think he would want to take an opportunity to explain what he did with the money and why he claimed a further £11,750 from the public purse. I find his decision not to assist our investigation or answer our questions disappointing. It leaves us with an expenses claim that does not appear to withstand scrutiny and the actions of a senior police officer that do not appear justifiable. The police authority’s remit is to scrutinise the expenditure of a police force and hold the senior officers to account. It is utterly unacceptable therefore that more than £30,000 of public funds can be handed to an officer without any means to audit how that money is used.”
The legal costs of the investigation into Chief Constable Maxwell were all borne by the taxpayer. Full Story here
“Had the chief constable admitted his guilt late last year, instead of at the very last minute, hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money could have been saved on legal costs. It is deeply regrettable that during challenging financial times, the actions of the county’s leading police officer should have cost the police authority so much. These figures are a further illustration of why Mr Maxwell no longer has the confidence of many of his officers or communities in North Yorkshire.”
Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell [left] and Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs [right]