Total crime down 12 percent in the last year across South Yorkshire - including fall in knife crime

The last year of lockdowns has affected crime levels in South Yorkshire, according to a new report.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 2:38 pm

South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has released his annual report, which looks at crime levels from April 2020 toMarch 2021, and sets out the priorities for the coming year.

The data shows that total recorded crime in South Yorkshire - excluding fraud -decreased by 12 percent, compared to a 13 percent decrease acrossEngland and Wales.

Dr Billings said in the report that the numerous lockdowns "impactedon levels of recorded crime and anti-social behaviour", adding that officers "had to enforce the restrictions as well as go about their business as usual".

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Dr Alan Billings on walkabout with police officers.

A "full service" was maintained within South Yorkshire Police, as levels of sickness "never reached some of those predicted".

Knife crime and residential burglary fell by 19 percent and 25 percent respectively, whilst drug offences and anti-social behaviour were on the up.

Hate crime also increased by 15 percent.

A rise in the council tax police precept has funded extra officers - there are now 455 police officers and staff on the region's neighbourhood teams, compared to around 260 in 2017.

Dr Alan Billings outside South Yorkshire Police headquarters.

In total, 70 officers, 55 of those full-time, have been recruited.

What is being done about firearms discharges?

The region saw a number of high-profile firearms incidents in 2021, including the fatal shooting of Khuram Javed, a shooting in Newfield Green, Gleadless in August; and a gun was fired at a property in Springvale Walk, Upperthorpe earlier this month.

There has been a 27 per cent decrease in the number of firearm discharges inSheffield during the second six months of 2020 comparedto the first, and a 22 percent increase in the number of firearms that have been seized.

Dr Billings said: "To tackle an increase in firearms discharges in South Yorkshire during 2020/21, an Armed Crime Team (ACT) was set up to enable the police to carry out focused disruption activity and enhance its investigation and intelligence gathering capability.

"During 2020/21 the team focussed its work in Sheffield, where particularareas had seen an increase in gun discharges."

What are the priorities for the force in 2021/22?

Following two public surveys, Dr Billings has compiled a list of areas to focus on in the coming year.

This includes reducing burglary, vehicle crime, sexual offences, hate crime, and anti-social behaviour, tackling drug dealing, knife and gun crime, and child sexual and criminal exploitation, and increasing police visibility.

Other areas of focus include road safety, rural crime, domestic abuse and cyber crime.

Dr Billings said: "While there has been great progress, some areas of concern remain for me, and I will be anxious to see improvements in the coming year - notably, reductions in neighbourhood crimes, serious violence, drug dealing, retail and rural crimes, and work to understand and improve on the low conviction rates for serious sexual offences."

The full report can be read here: file:///home/chronos/u-4af367e88209336497141f67a16fedc69cfc2f79/MyFiles/Downloads/sypcc-annual-report-2020-21-web-version.pdf