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South Yorkshire Police rated 'good' in new inspection

DCC Mark Roberts
DCC Mark Roberts

South Yorkshire Police has been rated 'good' at keeping people safe and reducing crime in a new inspection.

Following a series of inspections over recent years, in which the force was judged as inadequate or requiring improvement, the latest rates the effectiveness of the force as 'good' and is seen as a huge turning point in restoring its reputation and rebuilding confidence.

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Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts said the force is 'delighted' with the new grading and hopes members of the public are reassured.

"If you bear in mind that just over a year ago we required improvement or were rated inadequate in practically every aspect, one year on we are rated good for practically everything, including keeping people safe and reducing crime, which is what policing is for," he said.

"We now want the force to be outstanding and that's what we are committed to - we will not rest on this.

"We have dedicated and compassionate people out there doing things for the right reasons, which is to look after the public, and this is good recognition for their efforts.

"The public should have confidence that they have a force that is concentrating on what matters and and has been recognised at keeping them safe."

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The report rated the force good at preventing crime, tackling anti-social behaviour, investigating crime, reducing re-offending and tackling serious and organised crime.

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It was found to require improvement in the way it protects vulnerable people.

Inspectors said they were 'pleased to see the positive effect recent improvements have had across the force, particularly in neighbourhood policing and investigations' but admitted that 'further action is needed to ensure the force is providing all vulnerable people with an effective service'.

It recognised a shortage of detectives and that 'officers are not able to respond promptly enough' to all incidents, but that the force has the capability to 'respond to an attack requiring an armed response' and is taking steps to increase the number of officers needed to respond to public order incidents.

DCC Roberts said: "While we do not have as many staff as we used to, or would like, we are committed to working intelligently, focusing our efforts on dealing with urgent and high-risk offending, in particular where the public are vulnerable."

He said a new neighbourhood policing model, where more officers are back in communities solving problems before they escalate into crimes, will reduce demand on bobbies and free them up carry out more prevention work.

"If we just react and respond to incidents you end up with an ever decreasing circle. Having people back in neighbourhoods problem solving will reduce demand," he added.

He said the new report is recognition of the 'building blocks in place' for the creation of 'an even better force'.