North Yorkshire Police is on track to make tough savings, while still keeping a high number of bobbies on the beat.
That is one of the findings of a glowing report from a police watchdog, which has rated the force “good value” after it revealed it is set to make forced multi-million pound savings by next April.
And it has also been praised for planning ahead to make even more savings – without having to slash frontline services.
The new report, from HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), has tracked how police have made savings every year since the Government spending review in 2010, and Roger Baker, HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Northern Region, said the force was on course to make the savings enforced on it from Westminster.
He added: “Importantly, the force has started to develop its plans for delivering savings beyond 2016 and has a level of reserves to support investment in its infrastructure and provide some financial security through this period.
“The force has carried out extensive assessments of the demands it faces and has used these to distribute resources and reshape the way it delivers policing, with neighbourhood policing remaining the foundation of the force’s policing style.
“HMIC assesses that the force is delivering the required savings today while investing and developing an affordable way to deliver policing in the future.”
And while HMIC admit “there is still work to be done”, it praises the force for rising to the challenges austerity has brought upon it.
It is set to have saved £16m over the review period, with over a quarter of that this year.
And the force plans on saving more beyond that date, possibly through “collaboration and partnership” with other organisations.
And the police have plans to increase staffing, after a six per cent drop since 2010.
North Yorkshire’s Chief Constable Dave Jones welcomed the findings, adding: “There is no doubt that policing against the backdrop of financial cuts is challenging but it’s good to see that HMIC recognises the work that has been undertaken across North Yorkshire to deal with the unprecedented cuts we have seen over the past four years.”