Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has vowed to look at finances in the new year to find ways of absorbing the cost of further cuts to the Force.
The statement comes as part of a Christmas message, which was issued on behalf of Ms Baird. Reflecting on the past year, as well as looking to the future, she said: "Christmas is an opportunity when most people get to spend time with their families and friends, we get to enjoy ourselves, reminisce about what has happened over the year and enjoy a mince pie or two!
"Sadly, criminals don’t take time off, that is why Northumbria Police has been sending known burglars Christmas cards – letting them know that we know where they are and what they are up to. Police officers and staff, along with other emergency service staff, will be working across the festive period and I am very grateful to them, as their efforts allow us to enjoy time with our families knowing that they are working to keep our communities safe. When you are out and about over the festive season and you see your local bobby on the beat – wish them a Merry Christmas, they’ll appreciate it.
"2015 has flown by, we have had many challenges, but despite them all the Chief Constable and I have ensured that we have protected neighbourhood policing as I know this is a service you value. We have re-located police bases in to the heart of the community – right across Northumbria, making your police officers more accessible. We have continued to deliver for victims of crime, with satisfaction levels at 92 per cent. This reinforces that we put victims of crime at the heart of everything we do.
"As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will start the new year looking at all budgets to see how we can absorb the cost of further cuts to our police budget – we can talk about that in a few weeks time.
"As I sign off, thank you for your continued support. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for a neighbour who may be on their own. Keep warm, secure and stay in touch. Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2016."