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New police HQ unlikely to be in York, says police commissioner
NORTH Yorkshire’s new police headquarters are unlikely to be in York, the police and crime commissioner has said.
In a live webchat, Julia Mulligan - who was elected last November - discussed her draft Police and Crime Plan for 2013 to 2017, fielding questions on a wide variety of topics from the new police head quarters to crimes against businesses in rural areas.
The draft plan promised to crackdown on habitual offenders and reaffirmed Mrs Mulligan’s desire to sell North Yorkshire Police’s Newby Wiske headquarters, which costs £820,000 a year to run, and to replace it with a new “northern base”.
Responding to a question about where the new centre would be, she suggested that York is too far south in the county to be geographically practical and that a new building would combine administrative and custodial facilities. She said staff would be updated on plans for the new base soon.
Mrs Mulligan said: “As custody is the most expensive part of a build, it makes sense to combine the two - much better value for money.
"It also means force HQ is not just a stand alone administrative base but much more part of day to day policing. Putting this in York would mean we'd lose this important facility towards the north.”
Mrs Mulligan said the new headquarters would only require very “minimal borrowing”, if any, stating that “North Yorks Police actually has very little debt - we're one of the best in the country.”
Responding to questions about her plan to double the number of Special Constables and volunteers, Mrs Mulligan said she was confident there would be enough volunteers to fill the roles and she also revealed the proposed new chief constable for North Yorkshire would be announced next week subject to approval by the Police and Crime Panel on February 19.
Residents, groups and organisations are being asked to comment on the plan - which promises a “relentless pursuit of offenders”, particularly serial and habitual criminals, and increased arrest rates -before the final version is published at the end of March.
Public consultation events, webchats and surgeries with Mrs Mulligan will be held over the coming weeks.
To read the web chat in full and to see the draft plan, visit www.crimeplan.org.uk