A SURVEY of policing in North Yorkshire has found residents feel less safe with many believing crime is getting worse and under a third are satisfied with the police presence in their area.

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said the results are worrying but not a surprise. The survey ran alongside a consultation over potential council tax rises which the Crime Commissioner is set to take to the Police and Crime Panel on February 5.

She added: "It has been clear to me for some time that the public are concerned about the erosion of local policing. I believe the results reflect the gradual shift in policing resources nationwide, from traditional, local policing to more serious and complex matters, such as child abuse, sexual assault, cyber and online crime, serious and organised crime. While it is right that North Yorkshire Police has the resources to tackle the most serious crimes, I feel this has been to the detriment of local policing. However, the balance is hard to achieve. Demand is going up, as is the complexity of crime."

The survey found overall residents felt less safe than a year ago, 40 per cent of respondents said crime and anti social behaviour was worse and policing was bottom in the list of public services.

Mrs Mulligan said she hasn't yet decided on potential increases. She added:"The decision is a tough one, which I am weighing up very carefully. People quite rightly want a good, visible local policing service, but we do need to protect the most vulnerable. We are all feeling the pinch, so a higher bill is the last thing we want. However, given no further assurances from the government on centrally funded increases, and pay levels on the rise, as well as other costs, this may be the only way to improve matters."