A 1.99 per cent increase in the North Yorkshire police precept has been approved in a bid to prevent officer numbers being reduced.

The county's Police and Crime Panel has today (Friday, February 7) agreed to the proposal by Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, to raise North Yorkshire Police’s element of council tax bills by 1.99 per cent.

Mrs Mulligan called for the rise, following consultation with the public, to help fund 122 officer posts. The rise in the precept will pay for 24 of these, and the rest will be funded by the force making £10m of savings from elsewhere in its budget.

In 2012, following feedback from the public, officers and staff, North Yorkshire’s commissioner overturned a decision to reduce police officer numbers to 1,270 from 1,392.

Mrs Mulligan said: “The North Yorkshire public have told me from day one that the visibility of police is a top priority for them. The £4 a year increase means 24 police officers can be funded, with efficiency savings going towards the other hundred or so.

“These are extremely challenging times for police forces across the country. Like all public sector organisations, we need to maintain and improve services while reducing spending.

"I have reduced my own budget by over £100,000 and continue to cost significantly less than the old police authority.

“Along with various other proposals - such as further collaboration with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and a review of senior staff salaries – the Chief Constable and I are doing our best to ensure that North Yorkshire Police is fit for purpose both today and in future.”