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North Yorkshire Police

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

15. What plans he has for the future funding of North Yorkshire police; and if he will make a statement. (306229)

The recent pre-Budget report confirmed that sufficient funding will be available in the years to 2012-13 to enable police authorities to maintain current numbers of warranted police officers and police community support officers.

There has been a general drift towards increasing the number of community support officers as opposed to regular police officers. Although they perform a welcome role, they do not have the same powers as regular police officers, including the power to arrest. In the streets and rural areas of the Vale of York, we have seen an increase in antisocial behaviour. Will the Government now confirm that rather than pump-priming, they will ensure a regular supply of funding for community support and regular police officers in the Vale of York?

The priority, as set out in the pre-Budget report, is to ensure that police authorities have the resources for front-line officers, whether they are warranted officers or PCSOs. It is up to chief constables and police authorities to make best use of that funding, because they decide on operational matters.