Police are ‘monitoring’ impact of blackout

North Yorkshire’s new police and crime commissioner has said she is keeping a close watch on crime levels since the introduction of a policy to switch off Harrogate’s street lights.

Conservative Julia Mulligan, who was voted in a fortnight ago as North Yorkshire’s first ever elected commissioner, has said police are working closely with the county council.

“It’s a big issue in Harrogate,” she said. “I’ve already raised it with the relevant people at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).”

Mrs Mulligan, speaking at a press conference in Harrogate last Thursday to mark her first day in office, said she had met with victims of crime at Neighbourhood Watch Association meetings in Harrogate.

“One of the victims I met with had a great idea about setting up a dialogue to feed back any comments to the county council,” she said.

“The police are monitoring it very closely to see if it has any impact on crime.”

Mrs Mulligan, setting out her priorities for the coming months, said her first job in her new role was to establish a ‘victims’ charter’.

“This will be designed to support victims, whether they have been the target of anti-social behaviour or more serious crimes,” she said.

“One of the main areas is around feedback. Victims get a lot of support around the beginning of the process, but they are not always kept up to date.”

“It’s very important that all victims of all crimes receive the support that they need.”

Mrs Mulligan, when questioned about her plans to close police headquarters in Newby Wiske and find a more appropriate site, said it was very much a “live issue”.

But one of her first priorities, she said, was to appoint a new chief constable. A panel was to be appointed, she said, to draw up a process in a “robust and transparent” way.

“It’s very important for the police force in North Yorkshire to have some stability in it’s leadership and that’s why we need to start this process as soon as possible,” she said.