SIXTY-ONE police officer roles and 245 police support jobs have been axed in North Yorkshire in the last year, new figures have revealed.
North Yorkshire Police has shed one-in-25 police officer jobs as it works to balance the books after a 20 per cent cut in Government funding.
Meanwhile, 245 police staff jobs have been cut, the full-time equivalent of 244 roles, and eight police community support officers were also lost in November last year compared to a year before.
Assistant Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: â€œThe figures show a reduction in officer numbers due to retirements, resignations and transfers. As we are not recruiting at present, most of these posts will not be re-filled.
â€œHowever, we have recently held a successful transferee recruitment campaign for the Scarborough and Filey areas. We expect between ten and 15 new officers to join us over the next few months.
â€œDespite the reduction in officer numbers, North Yorkshire Police remains one of the highest performing forces in the country. Since 1 April 2011, crime has dropped by seven per cent.
â€œThis equates to 2,352 fewer crimes than the same period last year.
â€œAt this point in time and for more than seven consecutive months, North Yorkshire and the City of York is the safest and lowest crime area in England.
â€œThe latest Home Office crime figures reflect the sheer hard work and dedication of everyone connected to North Yorkshire Police and our partner agencies, particularly during what has been a very tough period in terms of public finances and an unprecedented level of reorganisation.â€
But Coun Sandy Fraser, cabinet member for crime and community safety at City of York Council, said he feared a loss in officers and staff would impact on crime rates in the long run.
He said: â€œThereâ€™s a clear concern that the economic situation is causing crime rates across the country to rise. Acquisitive crime across the country is increasing â€“ the police have predicted that is likely to continue because of the economic situation. For-tunately, North Yorkshire has escaped that trend to date but given the trend nationally, to cut bobbies on the beat is short-sighted.â€
Nationally, it has been reported that more than 6,000 police have been axed in the past year with police forces in England and Wales shedding one-in-23 officers.
300 jobs cut by North Yorkshire Police