Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, faced a barrage of questions from Ripon city councillors last night.
In a virtual meeting that was not open to the public, Ms Mulligan said there are a number of issues impacting on policing in the city.
Council leader Andrew Williams told the Stray Ferret:
“The commissioner accepted that there had been a time when the force had taken its eye off the ball on policing in Ripon.”
“I appreciate her frankness and also the way she listened to what we had to say.
“She didn’t duck councillors’ questions and provided both answers and potential solutions.”
The 90-minute online meeting was attended by the majority of city councillors.
Also attending virtually, were North Yorkshire Police Chief Inspector Andrew Colbourne and Inspector Alex Langley.
Insp Langley, has recently been appointed as the officer with responsibility for neighbourhood policing in Ripon.
Last week, following a three-hour crime spree in the Bondgate area of the city, he asked local residents to report anything they had seen by calling 101.
However, the response time to people calling 101, was brought into question last night and has been at previous city council meetings.
Commissioner Mulligan agreed the need to improve on response time and said that North Yorkshire would shortly be rolling out an online 101 service, offering a more rapid response.
She also reported that police numbers had ‘significantly increased’ and further officers would be added to tackle the city’s ongoing issues of violent and anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Williams pointed out:
“There can be no doubt that the commissioner and senior officers are taking our concerns seriously and acting upon them.
“We stated last year and do so again, that we will do all that we can to work with the police to address the city’s crime problems.”
One issue that will be more difficult to resolve, is the fact that police have to share space at Ripon fire station, where there is no interview room.
People who are arrested have to be taken to Harrogate Police Station for interview, resulting in a consequential temporary loss of officers on the city patch.