Disused Barnsley police station to be re-opened next month
A campaign by councillors to get police based at a disused local station in Barnsley has succeeded, with a new team of officers to move in next month.
It will see officers based at Hoyland for the first time in years and comes after peristent campaigning by the area's councillors.
Coun Mick Stowe, who represents the Hoyland Milton ward, said they had objected to the loss of local officers and had then campaigned to get the station back into use.
“We had a meeting with police at Goldthorpe to encourage them to have dedicated teams in all communities.
“They did not respond positively enough to a spike in crime in this area, in our view.”
The new team moves in on February 24 and will use the local knowledge they gain to investigate crimes which happen, and will work towards preventing problems by tackling issues early.
Barnsley was used as a test-bed for new style neighbourhood policing, which has since been rolled out successfully across the county.
The new Hoyland team is a further development which follows an early decision to station officers in Penistone, rather than their original base in Kendray, and to set up a further neighbourhood team in Cudworth.
Neighbourhood policing teams were scrapped by South Yorkshire Police as a cost cutting measure several years ago but have been successfully re-introduced by current Chief Constable Stephen Watson.
Since locally based officers were lost, councillors worked continually to bring them back because although neighbourhood teams have been re-introduced, those responsible for the Hoyland district have been based miles away at Goldthorpe.
South Yorkshire Police have been recruiting new officers, financed with cash raised by Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, which has allowed expansion of neighbourhood teams.
That has given police the opportunity to respond to representations made by councillors and MP Steph Peacock.
The new police team will cover the same area as the South Area Council, which spans an area of Barnsley from Birdwell, through Hoyland and Wombwell to Darfield.
The Rockingham and Hoyland wards have suffered crime spikes, blamed on the absence of police, and councillors from those areas have fought hard to get the new neighbourhood team in place.