South Yorkshire police detectives more visible in bid to reassure people

Police on duty in Sheffield on Friday night (11 October 2013) speak to local residents who reported someone hanging around in a garden in Gleadless.
Police on duty in Sheffield on Friday night (11 October 2013) speak to local residents who reported someone hanging around in a garden in Gleadless.
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Detectives in South Yorkshire have been issued with high visibility police jackets to make it more obvious when they are working in South Yorkshire communities.

They have traditionally not worn police uniforms but with staffing levels decreasing Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has vowed to increase the visibility of officers to reassure residents there is a police presence in communities.

Another 66 police officers who used to work in back office jobs are now in uniforms again and on the frontline.

Mr Wright said: “One of the things people are worried about is the number of officers being seen out on the beat.

“It is because of this that I prioritised more visible policing in my police and crime plan.

“It is no secret the Government are cutting resources into the police force and in times of austerity we have to react to these cuts, but the safety of the public must always be the most important issue.

“By putting more officers in uniform and more badged vehicles on the county’s streets, I hope to reassure the public that there are officers out there keeping South Yorkshire safe and that I am listening to their concerns and bridging the link between them and their police force.

“This is one of the first opportunities for the residents to make their voice heard and I will ensure there will be many more in coming months.”

Previously unmarked police cars have also been badged up to make it more obvious when officers are in neighbourhoods.

Police numbers on the beat were raised as an issue by residents who took part in an online police questionnaire on the crime commissioner’s website last month.

One resident, a man from Grimethorpe, Barnsley called for more police patrols during peak times of anti-social behaviour, fearing the police force is not taking the issue seriously enough.

A Sheffield resident asked the commissioner what the police can do to stop people making money from stealing scrap metal from gardens.

Commissioner Wright said: “Police in Sheffield have been working hard to tackle metal theft by conducting pro-active operations in hot-spot areas, conducting regular checks at scrapyards and by marking up garden furniture as a crime prevention measure.

“As a result this type of crime is down in Sheffield by over 10 per cent – that’s one in 10 fewer victims this year when compared to last and metal theft continues to reduce across the South Yorkshire Police area.

“The Government recently introduced cashless payments for scrap metal which means that scrap metal dealers cannot pay cash for it. This makes transactions easier to trace.”