South Yorkshire Police has been praised by inspectors for new plans to achieve budget cuts and cut crime.
The force was criticised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary last year for failing to slash its costs in line with government funding cuts.
Following an inspection last spring, HMIC said it was concerned the force had ‘missed the opportunity to grasp the challenge of the spending review and restructure the way it operates’.
South Yorkshire Police was told it must save £49.3 million between March 2011 and 2015, but had managed to save only £39.6m last July.
It has since identified areas where it can save a further £8.62m.
The force also underspent in 2012/13 and is predicting it will underspend in 2013/4 too.
The inspectorate also criticised the force for failing to reduce crime.
But following a re-inspection last autumn, HMIC praised South Yorkshire Police and said crime had fallen by 1.8 per cent and house burglaries were down seven per cent.
A report said: “This early improvement is very welcome and HMIC will continue to maintain close contact with the force as you continue to embed activity that leads to sustained performance improvement.”
Chief Constable David Crompton said: “When we were originally visited by HMIC in spring 2013, its inspectors expressed concern that we had not done enough to close the funding gap.
“They also said they were worried about our crime reduction performance and felt we had not done enough to review and restructure how we operated.
“It is a huge tribute to the force that, following the re-inspection, we have now received what is a complimentary report.
“No-one is complacent about the work and challenges that lie ahead of us, but to have achieved such a turn round in view from HMIC is to the credit of the hard work, professionalism and commitment of the entire force.”