Police chiefs in South Yorkshire say they are 'working urgently' to address 'serious concerns' raised over the performance of their force.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has judged South Yorkshire Police as requiring improvement in its effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy in fighting crime and keeping people safe in its annual report, based on a series of inspections last year.
Inspector Mike Cunningham raised a number of issues in his report, including the force's approach to 'preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour' and its neighbourhood policing model, which he said had weakened the ability of South Yorkshire Police 'to tackle the threats facing the people of South Yorkshire effectively'.
He said the force has 'a very limited understanding' of the current and likely future demands for its services'.
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “We acknowledge and note HMIC’s overall rating as a result of inspections carried out over the last year. We have already taken action to address the concerns raised, such as having a clear focus on the management of domestic abuse and vulnerability.
“We are working urgently to address these issues and have introduced a process to improve the accountability of our safeguarding arrangements to victims. We are also working closely with victims and their feedback is invaluable in helping to improve the service we provide.
“We also recognise the issues around neighbourhood policing and are currently developing a new policing model which will reflect our commitment to neighbourhoods.
“Whilst we recognise the urgency of this work, we must get the new model right. Hence our investment in a rigorous research phase prior to implementation, during which we will
consult with partners and members of the public at a series of consultation events with the Chief Constable.
"The views and concerns captured at these consultation events will mark the start of a programme of ongoing engagement and will inform the assessment into the force’s neighbourhood service, before changes are agreed and implemented.”