A REPORT has cited a number of examples in which the region’s police forces are adapting to the financial challenges they are facing.

The report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary follows a series of inspections last year which aimed to consider the impact of cuts in police grants.

Examples given include innovative practices such as transforming call handling procedures, collaboration between forces and the implementation of new technologies.

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The report described how North Yorkshire police had introduced an automated switchboard to replace its traditional one, which could eventually save the force £1m.

Callers can still be connected to an operator if they have difficulty using the system, but on average about half of the 460,000 calls that go through the switchboard per year are now re-routed directly to a person or department within the force.

Cleveland police is said to be one of the earliest forces in the country to successfully introduce new mobile technology which allows officers to access force systems while remaining visible on the street.

And Durham police’s planned move from its ageing 1960s built headquarters to a much smaller new £15m purpose-built facility is mentioned in the report as an example of cutting overheads.

The report also details Northumbria police’s now centralised crime investigation unit, which means most of the force’s investigative resources are now centrally managed and deployed.

The force says this has led to better matching of resources to meet demand HM Inspector of Constabulary for the Eastern region.

Zoe Billingham said: “These are examples of working which we believe can be enormously beneficial if shared with other forces and police and crime commissioners.”