A NEW report into North Yorkshire Police has judged the force "good" value for money, and said its efficiency is "outstanding".

The Policing In Austerity - Meeting The Challenge report, published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), and said the force's financial plan for the future was "good".

It said: "As a low-cost force, North Yorkshire has made good progress in reducing costs still further while retaining its commitment to neighbourhood policing. The force is delivering the required savings today while investing and developing an affordable way to deliver policing in the future."

The report showed the force was on track to meet its £16m saving target, and police officer numbers would fall by six per cent between 2010 and 2015 - lower than the national average of 11 per cent - though an increase in staffing is expected.

Chief Constable Dave Jones welcomed the report which he said reflected the work the force had done in dealing with major financial cuts in recent years.

He said: "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.

"What matters to me is that we provide the people of North Yorkshire with best possible service, that victims of crime are supported when they are at their most vulnerable, and that offenders are brought to justice. Nothing will change those priorities and it is up to us to ensure that we manage our resources with those priorities in mind.

“Our figures for reducing crime and for victim satisfaction are already some of the best in the country and while it will be a challenge to improve on these, I am confident that our plans for the future, which include investing in technology and cutting bureaucracy will help us to become more responsive.”

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: "This report shows that savings can be made, whilst ensuring local neighbourhood policing remains robust and healthy.

"Looking forwards though, there will be challenges. It is therefore satisfying that HMIC has recognised the quality our future plans. We are determined to do all we can to maintain local community policing, as well as meet our national and regional responsibilities through alliances and collaboration. This will not be easy, but it is vital in ensuring the future of local policing across North Yorkshire."