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Nwicker60
12-Sep-12, 09:31
Report reflects "excellent performance"



NORTHERN Constabulary's Chief Constable George Graham welcomed the publication of the HMICS Annual Report and praised officers and police support staff for their hard work in contributing to the achievements of one of the highest performing police forces in the UK .
Mr Graham said: "This report reflects a period of excellent performance for Northern Constabulary and I am pleased to see some of the Force's key achievements published in the report. It is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of our people that we have achieved such excellent results for our communities.
Highlights from the HMICS Report are summarised below:
Northern Constabulary made budget savings of 2.5m during 2011/12.
In a period where forces have managed a 2.6% reduction in their budgets, Northern Constabulary has maintained service levels and performance whilst reporting efficiency savings of 2.1m.
Northern Constabulary conducts a biennial community consultation in conjunction with its strategic partners. Their 2011 survey shows that 97% of respondents perceived that the area within a 15-minute walk of their home was either safe or very safe.
Northern Constabulary has recorded reductions in all categories of crime against the previous three-year average.
Northern Constabulary detection rates are higher than the Scottish figure in all crime categories. The force's detection rates are higher than those recorded for the previous year in all crime categories.
Some examples of good practice and initiatives developed by the force during the year are also highlighted below:

Rural policing visibility

As a result of budget constraints, the force made a decision to close Bettyhill and Lybster Police Stations in Caithness, Sutherland and East Ross area command. To maintain a policing presence in these remote rural areas the current Bettyhill service point was provided with a reception service and two Highland Council staff received relevant training to provide assistance in relation to policing issues.
Simultaneously the force replaced a police van with a custom built vehicle fitted with four-wheel drive capability and staffed by an experienced constable with a specific remit to patrol in the most remote areas. In addition to providing a visible police presence, the vehicle has been invaluable in snow patrols and assisting with a search for a missing boy in the Altnabreac area.

Social media

During 2011/12 Northern Constabulary developed its social media strategy by posting 18 educational videos on Facebook and YouTube. Topics included bike safety, information about the work of the force dog section and an introduction for new recruits to the force, all of which received positive feedback. In addition, the force has hosted regular on-line community discussions on a variety of community defined issues such as road safety, internet safety and issues affecting young people.
The Force also received an outstanding total of eleven Scottish Policing Awards in 2011.