A POLICE and Crime Commissioner has pledged to press ahead with plans to move a force’s headquarters from a 17th century manor house to a modern base nearby.

North Yorkshire commissioner Julia Mulligan said although officers had made initial studies, her proposal to move the base for 450 staff at Newby Wiske, near Northallerton, remained in its early stages.

At her first press conference after being elected with a 54 per cent share of the 14.3 per cent turnout, said she would develop a business case for the move in the next two months and that it would remain in Hambleton district.

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The statement ended speculation that the headquarters could be moved to York, which was sparked by a request by the leader of York Council.

A former senior officer at the force said although Newby Wiske had served as its base for 36 years, it had always proved difficult to access.

He said: “It would make sense to keep the headquarters in the area for strategic reasons and I would look at places such as the A19 area of Thirsk.”

Mrs Mulligan said she would focus her energies on appointing a chief constable for the force, which has been unable to appoint a successor to Graeme Maxwell, who left the role in May, a year after admitting gross misconduct.

She also unveiled plans for a Victim’s Charter, saying she had deep concerns over the treatment of some victims by the police.