Top cop’s new crime-fighting plan

A TEAM of four police officers have been tasked with reducing demand on their colleagues by preventing crime across the borough as funding cuts continue to hit South Yorkshire Police.

Rotherham’s top cop Chief Supt Rob Odell said two officers in both the Rotherham North and South local policing teams (LPT) had been given the roles — following success with a similar set-up on the town’s central LPT.

Chief Supt  Rob Odell, district commander for Rotherham, said he had made the decision after almost £1 million worth of drugs were seized in Eastwood in just three months thanks to a similar arrangement.

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He said: “We chose Eastwood first because of the need and now we need to balance the need.

“I have tasked two cops in the south and the north and their job is taking action that will reduce demand and make a difference. 

“It’s a bit of a leap of faith but I know it’s the right action to take.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner, said South Yorkshire Police had lost 600 officers since 2010.

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He is currently running a public consultation over plans to rise the police precept — paid as part of council tax — by around 6p per week for band A and B properties, which he said would enable the force to maintain the same number of officers over the next year.

Chief Supt Odell said: “I am certain that I have done the right thing. 

“These officers in the south and north LPTs have strings attached — they have got to make a difference to the members of the public and reduce demand.

“It’s a difficult balancing act because of the resources but I am certain it’s the right thing to do.”