South Yorkshire Police boss welcomes findings of new review of policing

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed a new review of policing but says he remains caution over its findings – including the creation of an FBI for the UK.

Friday, 11th March 2022, 12:38 pm

The Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales, chaired by Sir Michael Barber, contains 56 recommendations urging reform to police culture, skills, training and organisational structure.

Suggestions include the creation of a new Crime Prevention Agency and the expansion of the role of the National Crime Agency so it effectively becomes a new FBI for the UK.

Responding to the report, Alan Billings said: “Whilst I welcome the first report of this kind in years, we already know a lot of its findings.

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South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings, has responded to a new review of policing

“Public confidence in policing fell with the removal of neighbourhood policing, due to austerity. This is now being put back into South Yorkshire with the recruitment of new officers with government investment, to replace the officers we lost during cuts to policing and additional funding from my office, providing an extra 220 officers.

“The police review report also highlights fraud as a major area of concern. Fraud is an increasing problem and tackling it requires officers and staff with advanced cyber skills. These officers are not always visible to the public as they are not out and about in neighbourhoods but nevertheless work tirelessly to protect the public. Ensuring our new recruits are equipped to tackle these new and emerging crimes is essential.

“Whilst I welcome the development of a new Crime Prevention Agency and feel it could provide a new focus and help to re-establish public trust, it must be careful to not add another layer of bureaucracy.”