South Yorkshire Police out of ‘special measures’

Chief Constable Stephen Watson
Chief Constable Stephen Watson
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South Yorkshire Police is no longer under an enhanced level of scrutiny following a review of the force after a number of inspections.

Following a meeting chaired by Sir Thomas Winsor, of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service, last week, it has been announced today  that because of significant improvements made by the force over the past two years, the force no longer needs as much formal scrutiny.

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It had been placed in so called ‘special measures' following a series of failings over recent years.

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But today’s announcement is said to represent a ‘real milestone’ for South Yorkshire Police in recognising the improvements made over the last two years.

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In a series of recent inspections the force has been assessed as ‘good’ for effectiveness, leadership and legitimacy.

Individual causes of concern surrounding the efficiency of the force have also been lifted and HM Inspectors have expressed their confidence that the current momentum will be maintained and further improvements will follow.

Stephen Watson, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, said: “I am delighted the ongoing efforts of our talented and committed officers and staff have been so powerfully recognised.

“The one constant in what has otherwise been a huge amount of change has been the tireless commitment of our people. The force has introduced new leadership at all levels, implemented new structures including the reintroduction of neighbourhood policing and is working effectively toward the delivery of a very clear plan.

“This represents an important turning point for the force. Much remains to be done, but we are confidently on track in our determination to improve further still in providing the best possible service to our public.

“We are now actively seeking ways to increase the numbers of police officers on our streets, despite ongoing financial pressures, having demonstrated how rapidly these improvements have taken hold. SYP will increase the numbers of police officers for the first time since 2010 and we will be recruiting record numbers during 2019.

“I am immensely proud of the force and the men and women who serve our public so bravely and professionally. We enter into this new chapter in our history with real optimism and determination. We are here for the public and will be relentless in doing the very best for them.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary Phil Gormley said: “I am confident the improvements are sustainable, and that the current momentum will be maintained. I look forward to seeing further improvements across the force.”

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “This decision is good news for the chief constable and his management team, as well as officers and staff and the public of South Yorkshire, who can be reassured that the service they receive is making real and sustainable progress.

“Whilst there is still room for improvement this announcement provides further evidence that South Yorkshire Police is moving in the right direction under the new leadership as they continue on their journey to become an outstanding force.”

In line with other police forces, South Yorkshire Police will now return to the standard level of monitoring, with quarterly reviews conducted by HMICFRS to highlight and identify potential performance issues and possible causes of concern.