OPENING times for three of the area's police stations are being reduced as part of a money-saving initiative.

North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan is to accept recommendations from the Chief Constable Lisa Winward to close the front counter services of York, Scarborough and Harrogate stations two hours earlier from next week.

They will remain open for 12 hours a day between 8am and 8pm and will have no impact on the 24-hour operation of the station themselves.

The change in hours are expected to result in savings of nearly £150,000 per year.

The PCC said: “With the changing nature of policing, and the way many of us now live large parts of our lives online, it is inevitably affecting how the public interact with the police.

"This is something the police are still getting to grips with, and a lot more needs to be done to improve access to policing online and improve customer service, both of which are part of my police and crime plan.

“These changes are already having an impact on the numbers of people visiting police stations, which is getting fewer and fewer, especially in late evenings. Our front counter team provide an excellent service, but it does not make sense for them to be staffing the front counter when they’re rarely being used. I am sure taxpayers will agree that there are better ways we can use the £150,000 expected to be saved.”

The force is also continuing to develop the ways in which the public can get in touch to report concerns, ask questions and receive information, ensuring there are more digital means to access policing.