Star opinion: Police need to be seen

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The Ethics Panel which is being created by Police and Crime Commissioner The Reverend Dr Alan Billings is to be cautiously welcomed but it shouldn’t get in the way of what will restore public confidence in South Yorkshire Police.

The panel is aimed at overseeing policing in South Yorkshire in a bid to increase trust in the force and confidence in the way officers carry out their duties. It will challenge decision making in the force aimed at improving integrity and standards.

This all well and good. And anything that helps should be welcomed.

However, there is a simpler method of getting the public back onside and that’s getting out into our communities, patrolling the streets and being an active, visible presence again on the beat.

Whatever arguments are put up by bosses and politicians the bottom line is that people want to know that a police officer is nearby if they’re needed.

Is it beyond commonsense that if an officer gets to know his beat then he or she will be in a position to anticipate when problems could occur.

An ethics panel may sound grand but enforcing the law, pointing our the difference between right and wrong, and being seen on our streets would be far more worthwhile.

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