‘Disappointed’ inspectors tell South Yorkshire Police it must improve
South Yorkshire Police must make ‘substantial’ improvements to keep people safe, according to national inspectors.
A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary into performance during 2016 judged the force as ‘requires improvement’ in three areas – crime prevention, investigation and protecting the vulnerable.
The inspection found the force was ‘good’ at tackling serious and organised crime.
Inspector of constabulary Mike Cunningham said: “I am disappointed that since our inspection in 2015, South Yorkshire Police still has substantial improvements to make to how effectively it keeps people safe and reduces crime.”
He raised concerns about crime investigation and the reduction of reoffending, saying supervision of cases was inconsistent and there were ‘significant’ backlogs for examination of digital devices recovered during investigations.
And the inspector said South Yorkshire Police ‘routinely’ failed to complete risk assessments for victims of domestic abuse, meaning it may not have the information ‘necessary to protect people from harm’.
The report did find the force to have a good understanding of the risks posed by serious and organised crime in South Yorkshire.
South Yorkshire’s deputy chief constable Dawn Copley said the force understood where it needed to improve.
“The report also highlighted that our current approach to neighbourhood policing has weakened our ability to be effective in preventing and tackling crime. We are acutely aware of this, and are working hard to gather together best practice and learning to ensure we introduce a renewed, targeted and reinvigorated approach to neighbourhood policing.
South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings said the report gave new chief constable Stephen Watson ‘a very clear idea’ of what he needed to do.