The North Yorkshire Police column with Supt Steve Thomas

PC Bethany Crawford-Evans receives her chief constable's commendation.
PC Bethany Crawford-Evans receives her chief constable's commendation.

After 25 years of policing I was really proud to take over my new role as the County Commander. Living and working in the district I have called home for the last 15 years, means I have a genuine passion for making the area as safe as possible for everyone and provide the best police service we can.

I am supported by my new Chief Inspector Andy Colbourne who takes over the role of Operations and Neighbourhood Policing lead on promotion, working alongside him is DCI Jim Glass who is responsible for Investigation and Intelligence.

Having spent the first 21 years of my career in West Yorkshire I moved to North Yorkshire Police three years ago and since then have been the Head of Crime Operations and one of the forces Senior Investigating Officers for Major and Complex Crime.

I have enjoyed working in some of the busiest and most challenging policing environments across Leeds and Bradford and look forward to drawing on those experiences as we take on the current challenges facing us.

I am often asked about priorities by members of the public and although there are many complex demands placed on the service today one remains a standout for me.

Caring for and protecting the vulnerable, and to achieve this we need to increase our visibility, work closely with partner agencies and be proactive in preventing crime and disorder.

Our frontline staff are now equipped with the latest mobile technology which provides access to all the key force systems which in turn allows them to remain visible and available out in our communities. Our proactive capability has been enhanced with our ‘Expedite Team’ tackling drug dealing, cross border criminals and those involved in human trafficking and slavery.

I am really pleased to see the force recruiting new officers and we are benefiting from this with new faces joining us across the district with more to follow in the coming months.

Expect to see many of these new officers and PCSOs out on foot and mobile patrol around your town or estate and I would encourage anyone to stop and take a moment to get to know them and ask them how things are going so they can reassure you about the amazing work they and their team are doing on your behalf.

Often our best results come from information passed through these simple but vital face to face encounters.

As we prepare for what I hope will be a fantastic summer which again will see Harrogate and its surrounding area on the world cycling stage I am looking forward to the challenge of improving our services.

Every day so far in my new role I am reminded of the fantastic work of my staff and partners and will look to share some of these examples in the coming months.

I was so pleased to present PC Bethany Crawford-Evans with a Chief Constable’s commendation, Bethany recently responded to a call regarding a male suffering a mental health crisis who had climbed scaffolding in town and was threatening to jump and kill himself.

She was able to negotiate and talk him down to safety so he could then receive the right care and support. I know her team, family and friends will be very proud.