A new way of policing has been introduced across the Harrogate district this week as the first of North Yorkshire Police’s (NYP) ‘investigations hubs’ went live on Wednesday.
This new hub, based at Harrogate Police Station, is designed to introduce a major change to the way officers investigate the district’s most common crimes. The idea, says the force, is to free up police time by allowing arresting officers to ‘hand over’ criminals to an investigations team so they can get back on the streets.
“The investigation hub concept is a new way of working and has been implemented elsewhere in the country,” said Asst Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, who is leading the project. “It has been shown to simplify the way the police interact with victims, and speed up access to justice.”
The first hub went live in Harrogate yesterday (Wednesday, April 1). More are to be brought in across North Yorkshire in coming weeks. The move is part of the force’s Operational Policing Model, a major project to deliver services in the midst of policing and financial challenges.
“We are taking action now, to ensure that NYP is equipped to deliver a better service to victims of crime, now and into the future, despite the financially constrained times ahead,” said the Asst Chief Constable. “The hubs are part of a wider project to transform how we work.”
The new investigation hubs, made up of detectives, uniformed officers and police staff, will see a “major change” to the way police work, the force has said. Before, time was lost as each stage of a criminal investigation was dealt with by a different person in a different role. The new way of working hopes to provide a ‘start to finish’ process, with a team taking over the entire investigation from the arresting officer so they can get back on the street.
Julia Mulligan, police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “The public tell me that their number one priority is their local neighbourhood policing team, and there are other issues such as child sexual exploitation and domestic abuse, which need more resources.
“These demands, alongside a shrinking budget, mean changes have to be made. The investigation hubs will free up local officer time.
“Taken as a package, the measures now coming into effect will help police officers spend less time behind their desks and more time in local communities.”