South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has met senior police chiefs to discuss the county’s homicide rate.
He raised the issue during a pre-arranged meeting with South Yorkshire Police top brass after new figures ranked the county as the second worst place in the country for its homicide rate.
The Office for National Statistics revealed that between April 2013 and March 2014 there were 23 reported killings - 16.9 offences for every one million residents.
Only Bedfordshire had a worse figure.
South Yorkshire Police claim there were 20 killings over the 12 month period, with the additional three in the figures committed earlier and skewing the force ranking.
A spokeswoman for Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “The Commissioner was disturbed by the recently released figures for homicides in South Yorkshire.
“He discussed the homicide rates with the Senior Command Team at a meeting. He was concerned to get behind the raw data to distinguish between those homicides that happen within family situations and those that are related to wider patterns of criminality, such as drug dealing, and whether there are any trends or patterns developing.”
In November South Yorkshire Police axed its cold case review team, which used to investigate unsolved rapes and murders, in a bid to cut costs.
At the time there were 28 unsolved killings on the force’s books.