NORTH Yorkshire Police will receive more than 50 new recruits in the first wave of the Government’s drive to boost police officer numbers.

Yesterday, the Home Office announced the officer recruitment targets for every police force in England and Wales for the first year of a three-year drive to get 20,000 new officers on the streets - with North Yorkshire set to receive 58 new officers.

However, as reported by The Press last year, the uplift only replaces those lost last year in cuts. 

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said she was pleased with the announcement, however, remained “concerned that rural forces continue to lose out to urban areas”.

She said: “Today’s announcement is welcome and is good for North Yorkshire, as well as being positive for policing as a whole. In the first of three intakes, North Yorkshire Police will receive 58 new recruits, which is part of the Government’s national campaign to recruit 20,000 new police officers.

“Following my own investment in police officer numbers via the local precept, by April 2021, we will have a total of 1,508 officers, meaning we are well on track to reach previous highs of approximately 1,600.

“I do, however, remain concerned that rural forces continue to lose out to urban areas and call upon the Government to address this inequality.

“Policing the largest rural force in the country has its own set of challenges, not least the increasing threat of county lines drug dealing. Having said this, I am encouraged as this uplift in numbers will mean more visible policing to keep us safe, as well as having a greater focus on preventing crime.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “We welcome these additional officers, and as an organisation, we are exploring where they will be deployed to best meet the needs of our communities, and keep people safe.”

Speaking on Wednesday, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “The public is clear they want to see more police officers on their streets, whether they live in the city or the countryside. This is the people’s priority and it is exactly what the Government is delivering.

“Every single police force in England and Wales will be able to recruit additional officers this year.”