"THE start of a new year is always a time for me to plan for this year ahead and reflect on the year that we have just had."
We need to continue the push to make our roads safer - we did really well in 2008 with more than a 20 per cent reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured.
Grahame Maxwell - North Yorkshire Police
"For North Yorkshire Police, 2008 was a very good year. Together with our partners we continued our push to reduce crime and keep the area that we police, the county of North Yorkshire and the City of York, one of the safest to work and do business in in the UK.
"Some of the highlights for me in the past year were, over the summer, the 150th Great Yorkshire Show with Her Majesty the Queen the guest of honour; the Community Pop Idol finals which were held, for the city in the Grand Opera House York, and for the county in Selby Abbey; and the launch in October of Operation Drystone which saw a Forcewide crackdown on quality of life crime ranging from drugs related crime to anti-social behaviour.
"My personal highlight of the year was receiving my Queen's Police Medal (QPM) at Buckingham Palace. I was extremely proud to receive this honour, both from a personal point of view and on behalf of the police service.
"I believe it is the ultimate award in a policing career and recognises the commitment made by men and women across the police services of the UK.
"This was followed a week later by the launch of our policing pledge on the set of Heartbeat. The policing pledge is our 10-point promise to you on the level of service you can expect from us. This is part of our commitment to a national standard of service for our communities.
"I really enjoyed the year, particularly attending numerous public and civic meetings throughout the county and city and meeting so many different members of the public.
"Overall I think 2008 was a successful year for North Yorkshire Police and I would like to thank officers, staff, PCSOs, special constables and volunteers for their contribution to our success.
"What about this new year? In many ways much of the same. I want to build on the success of our Safer Neighbourhood teams which I believe are now re-embedding policing into the heart of our communities.
"We need to continue the push to make our roads safer - we did really well in 2008 with more than a 20 per cent reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured. Who knows, perhaps this new year will see the first safety camera installed in the force area?
"To make these things happen, and for us to deliver on the commitments of our pledge, we need to work effectively with all our partners, in particular our communities that make up our neighbourhoods.
"At the same time we must be aware of those criminals that can cause serious harm to us and I am determined that we maintain our impetus in safeguarding our communities from these criminals. All this in the face of an economic downturn will mean that we will have our work cut out this year.
"But I know that by working with you, North Yorkshire Police will be up to that challenge. Thank you for your continued support and have a good New Year and if you do go out, and are drinking, be sensible and leave the car at home."
Chief Constable of North Yorkshire