South Yorkshire Police have allocated 20 additional officers to the Doncaster district this year, half the total number of extra staff being recruited by the force, because the town has such high levels of demand.
Seventeen of those will go straight into neighbourhood working, bolstering a service which was re-introduced recently after being scrapped as a cost saving measure several years ago.
Neighbourhood work has proved highly effective, putting officers into the hearts of communities where they can gather intelligence on crime issues and help prevent small issues from developing into major problems.
Details of the development were given to the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, at a meeting of his Public Accountability Board, where he monitors the force’s performance.
The station is due to re-open early next year and will be home to a multi-agency team, including Doncaster Council staff, rather than just police.
That will form part of an increased police presence across the district, with a new team of six officers to be based in the council’s headquarters building, allowing them easy access to deal with council colleagues on issues which need input from both agencies.
Doncaster’s district commander, Chief Supt Shaun Morley, told the meeting: “We will be able to address some of the complex issues around vulnerable individuals and some of the high risk areas we have.”
It means there will be daily patrols from 7am to 10pm, with officers expected to tackle issues such as drug dealing.
A community alcohol partnership has also been developed, to identify areas where the misuse of drink by young people is an issue.
The aim is to try to confront the problem through education work through schools and also setting diversionary activities, to provide an alternative.
“That is starting to have a positive effect in Auckley, just outside the town centre,” Chief Supt Morley told the meeting.