New neighbourhood police teams to hit streets of South Yorkshire

David Hartley
David Hartley

New neighbourhood police teams aimed at tackling problems from the grassroots before they escalate are to be launched in South Yorkshire next week.

A total of 12 new teams have been set up, with four in Sheffield, three in Rotherham and Doncaster and two in Barnsley.

There are 350 officers assigned to the teams, with the number set to increase to over 400 by January.

The aim is for the new teams to work in specific communities to identify issues and crime trends before they become major issues.

Bosses want officers to be 'proactive' rather than 'reactive' and believe the new approach will reduce the demand on the force by preventing the kind of major incidents which traditionally take bobbies away from local communities.

A recent survey of around 5,000 South Yorkshire residents revealed that people want more officers on the streets and the opportunity to interact with them more.

Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley said: “The current policing model was introduced in 2015, and combined the previous neighbourhood policing service as well as our response teams, with the intention of best serving the public by utilising one single and flexible team.

“Despite our best intentions this hasn’t been effective, due to the demanding and immediate nature of our reactive response work, we have seen our neighbourhood function slowly eroded within our communities. It is clear that our communities are not satisfied, nor are our staff delivering service. It is time for change.

“By engaging and listening to how you feel, we have recognised that a neighbourhood function, with dedicated police officers and PCSOs integrated into the everyday life of local communities, is absolutely essential.

“It will potentially alleviate some of our demand by being proactive rather than simply providing a reactive response and in time will hopefully help to increase your trust and confidence in the force."

The new teams will be tasked with tackling crime and anti-social behaviour , building up links with communities, solving local issues and building up intelligence.

ACC Hartley added: "They will be focussing on problem solving and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The teams will provide support and assistance to local communities by operating as problem solvers, with regular engagement events and drop ins so you can speak directly about any issues or concerns in your area.

“We will continue to engage with you to find out how we’re doing and if the implementation of the neighbourhood policing model is meeting your needs and expectations. We are aiming to deliver the best possible service for our communities in South Yorkshire and we will always listen and act on your feedback.”