NORTH Yorkshire Police have appointed a new leader for the Hambleton and Richmondshire Safer Neighbourhood Command.

Acting Superintendent Simon Lovell has taken over the role from Superintendent Andy McMillan, who has been in the post since 2012.

Acting Supt Lovell has been in charge of the Craven Safer Neighbourhood Command since April 2012, and will also continue in that post, and previously worked as an Inspector in Northallerton between 2002 and 2006.

He said: “I have lived in Northallerton for 23 years and consider myself a local officer, and that my family and I are part of the community. To be returning to somewhere I know so well is fantastic.

“I am looking forward to the challenges that policing Hambleton and Richmondshire as well as Craven will pose. I have a great team around me who have been responsible for some significant improvements in performance and the management of local initiatives. I am really proud to have been asked to lead this team going forward."

Acting Supt Lovell said he hopes to continue working with local partners and organisations in the district to deal with the concerns of residents, as his predecessor had.

He said: “These relationships and methods of working ensure that we are addressing those issues that are of a concern to our communities in the best possible manner, which is something I am keen to focus on.

“In the last few months the district has seen a reduction in crime, and overall last year a significant reduction in anti-social behaviour. We have some challenges this year, but we will manage these and ensure that whilst we do so we remain focused on crime and anti-social behaviour.”