SOUTH Yorkshire Police will no longer be subject to enhanced monitoring after making “significant improvements” over the past two years.
The move was announced last week by Sir Thomas Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary.
At a recent meeting, Sir Thomas confirmed that ‘special measures’ no longer applied to the force.
These were put in place by HMICFRS in 2016, due to inspectors’ concerns around the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of its policing — all of which were said to require improvement.
Recent progress means the force is now rated “good” by the inspectorate in these areas.
Inspectors have expressed confidence that improvements will be maintained.
HM Inspector Phil Gormley said: “I am confident the improvements are sustainable, and that the current momentum will be maintained.
“I look forward to seeing further improvements across the force.”
South Yorkshire Police’s chief constable, Stephen Watson, said: “I am delighted the ongoing efforts of our staff have been so powerfully recognised.
“The force has introduced new leadership at all levels, implemented new structures — including the reintroduction of neighbourhood policing — and is working effectively toward the delivery of a very clear plan.”
He added: “This represents an important turning point for the force.
“Much remains to be done, but we are confidently on track in our determination to improve further still in providing the best possible service to our public.
“I am immensely proud of the force and the men and women who serve our public so bravely and professionally.”
South Yorkshire Police will increase the number of officers on South Yorkshire streets — currently 3.5 per 1,000 residents — despite ongoing financial pressures, Mr Watson said.
The first fresh recruitment since 2010 will see “record numbers” hired during 2019, he added.
Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has welcomed the decision to move the force from “engage” status to “scan” — the normal level of HMICFRS monitoring.
This will involve quarterly reviews, using information from several sources to highlight areas of potential concern.
“This decision is good news for the chief constable and his management team, as well as officers and staff and the public of South Yorkshire, who can be reassured that the service they receive is making real and sustainable progress,” said Dr Billings.
“Whilst there is still room for improvement, this announcement provides further evidence that South Yorkshire Police is moving in the right direction under the new leadership as they continue on their journey to become an outstanding force.”
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