Fears over new policing plans in South Yorkshire

Neil Bowles

Neil Bowles

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Fears have been raised over the way South Yorkshire is to be policed as bosses juggle a reducing workforce and budget.

New local policing teams are going to be introduced, in Doncaster initially, where new teams of officers will tackle all crimes and issues on their patches.

Neil Bowles

Neil Bowles

There will be six in Sheffield, three in Rotherham, two in Barnsley and three in Doncaster.

Each district will have a policing support unit to help tackle anti-social behaviour, oversee offender management and tackle issues and crimes when more help is needed.

A specialist crime force unit will work across the county on murders and other major incidents and the public protection unit will work county-wide.

The new model, which includes new shifts for bobbies, gives bosses more flexibility with rotas to ensure officers are working when they are needed most, including weekends and evenings.

Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said: “The new policing model is an attempt to carry out the vital policing role despite the budget cuts, it is not going to produce a better service.

“All you get for less is less.

“Neighbourhood policing teams are going to be frustrated as they will keep being called to perform other roles, neighbourhoods will suffer.

“Local police commanders, answerable to their partners, will not have direct control over CID, neighbourhoods will suffer.

“There will be less supervision, mistakes will be made, sickness will rise, neighbourhoods will suffer.

“The next Government must get its spending priorities right, its first duty is to protect its citizens. Allocate the police, other emergency services and the Armed Services more money. Only then will we be able to provide the service we all want to provide.”