INSPECTORS have criticised a police force for allowing officers to take photographs of crime scenes and victims' injuries on their own mobile phones.

North Yorkshire Police was also rapped for sending police community support officers (PCSOs) to deal with violent incidents.

A report by Her Majesty' Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) concluded that officers' use of mobile devices to access force systems while on patrol was limited.

It added: "HMIC were concerned that officers reported that they are using their own mobile phone devices for photographing exhibits, crime scenes and victim injuries and for satellite navigation.

"This presents risks to the organisation around data integrity and security."

Inspectors found that inappropriate resources were being deployed to some incidents, including PCSOs to violent incidents, road policing units to low-level incidents and multiple resources to the same incident.

The force was also criticised for not consistently identifying vulnerable and repeat victims.

In response, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said many of the improvements recommended by the HMIC were already in motion.

"This includes investment in technology for front-line officers, which I have set aside £10m for, so they can spend more time in the local community.”

North Yorkshire Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick added that the report highlighted some of the extremely positive work done by the force, as well as areas for improvements.

"We recognise this, and the work we have been doing towards the new Operational Policing Model (OPM) has already identified ways in which we can improve on some of the points made in the report, including providing officers with better technology so they can access force systems while out on patrol and how we can distribute our resources more effectively, so officers can spend more time out on the streets, where the public want to see them."

Elsewhere in the region, Durham Constabulary and Cleveland Police, along with North Yorkshire, were found by inspectors not to have an overarching crime prevention strategy.

Durham and Cleveland were identified in the HMIC Core Business reports as being two of the few forces that had a policy of requiring officers to attend all crimes and incidents.