SOUTH Yorkshire’s most senior policeman has vowed his officers will stay one step ahead of the criminals and won’t give up the fight against crime - despite the threat of job losses in the future.
Chief Constable David Crompton, who has been in post for two months, said although his force had to save £40 million by 2015 he and his officers were up for the challenge.
“I would struggle to look people in the eye and tell them honestly their posts won’t be affected over the next few years - I don’t think I can do that,” he said. “But I have given a commitment that our front-facing resources we will try and keep intact as much as we can - police officers and police staff I will try and keep as much as possible but we have to make the savings and somewhere along the line it will involve some hard decisions.
“We might have to change some of the structures, have less managers and work more with other forces.” Chief Constable Crompton said there were still improvements his force could make to become more efficient and keep one step ahead of the county’s criminals.
“There are still improvements we can make which would counteract the cuts.
“Things are more challenging than they used to be but by being more efficient I think we can do it, but it won’t be easy,” he added.
“I’m up for the challenge - what’s the alternative?
“What do we do, give up? What would happen then? Giving up isn’t an option.
“We have to be better than the criminals - it has to be us or them.
“It’s about us staying on top of them - not letting them think they are winning.
“If you keep reducing numbers at some point it becomes difficult to keep crime under control - I don’t think we are at that point.”
Chief Constable Crompton said he wants his officers to get tougher with criminals and look for ‘every opportunity’ to seize their assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act - cash which will be reinvested into fighting crime in their communities.
“South Yorkshire Police is good at taking assets from criminals already but I want us to be even better - criminals hate having their car, their house and their money taken but the public like to see that happening - the sense of us taking away what criminals have gained from their criminal activities in our communities,” he added.
“My message to officers is to seize every opportunity. And my message to criminals is that at some point we will be coming through your door.”