POLICE should be more accessible and visible - that's the findings of a major survey conducted by South Yorkshire Police.
Almost 5,000 people were asked their thoughts through surveys and events hosted by chief constable Stephen Watson.
The Neighbourhood Policing Survey found that people wanted a greater police presence and the opportunity to interact more with officers.
A new neighbourhood model, which senior officers hope will counteract public concerns, went live on Monday.
It includes 12 neighbourhood areas across South Yorkshire — four in Sheffield, three in Doncaster and Rotherham, and two in Barnsley — with over 350 dedicated officers, with a planned increase to over 400 by January.
Ass Ch Con 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.
“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 trust and confidence in the Force.”
Mr Hartley added: “Each area will be led by a local inspector with a sergeant, PCs and PCSOs dedicated to policing neighbourhoods and 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.”
To view more on the results of the survey, visit www.southyorks.police.uk/news-syp/neighbourhood-policing-survey-round.