I was interested to learn that North Yorkshire Police were advertising for a further 20 police officer posts specifically for the Scarborough area.
An additional 20 officers will be extremely welcome to an area that already suffers from an under-establishment of operational officers.
However, I was extremely disappointed to learn that these new posts will be drawn from existing police officers already serving in other police forces nationally and will not be offered to new entrants from the local area.
I can only conclude from this information that this form of recruitment is as a direct link to cost-cutting exercise on the grounds that the officers have already undertaken the requisite training and the costs for that training has already been borne by the force that the officers are taken from.
What I find hard to understand, however, is that the Scarborough area has already suffered greatly in terms of losing Police Officers and Support Staff as part of the recent government cutbacks and which has resulted in entire departments or offices being made to close and staff having to take redundancy.
It does seem strange that on one hand the force has taken the decision to make officers redundant and very shortly afterwards they are advertising for a further 20 officers to supplement the establishment.
A further matter to consider is the fact that the role and qualities of being a Police Officer is enhanced if they are selected from local areas where they have an affinity and a feeling of belonging to a community.
There is no doubt that applicants into the force direct from the ‘outside world’ would have to undergo the normal initial training and this would come at a cost but bear in mind that once the training has been completed those officers will remain in the area for the majority of their service so the expense of the training would be minimal.
If I was a person from the Scarborough and wider North Yorkshire area who was interested in joining the police force I would feel extremely let down at this concept of advertising for officers. It is tantamount to saying that we do not have the applicants with the required qualities from within our own area.
I am all for improving the numbers of officers in our respective areas but please not at the expense of 20 applicants from this area. This is the North Yorkshire Police and not the United Nations. Short-term cost-cutting options are not the answer to long-term success.