Plan to tackle crimes that cause “most anxiety" to South Yorkshire communities

South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner is set to reveal a new plan to tackle crime over the next three years, including getting to grips with burglary, vehicle crime, robbery, theft, and “serious violence”.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 10:46 am

The police and crime plan for 2021-2024 sets out a number of priorities for South Yorkshire police over the next three years.

The strategy, to be published by Alan Billings in his second term as PCC, sets three priorities for the force up until 2024; prioritise vulnerable people, tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and treat people fairly.

Dr Billings writes that South Yorkshire Police is “in a very strong position to meet the new challenges of the post-coronavirus world,” adding that “I am determined that in my term of office 2021-2024 people in South Yorkshire will both be safe and also feel safe.”

South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Alan Billings.

Under the initiative to protect vulnerable people, Dr Billings states that victims of crime should receive a “timely and supportive response” from the force, and ” reassurance that what has happened to them is taken seriously”.

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It is hoped that these measures will “increase public confidence in the police.”

A meeting with partners is proposed, in a bid to ensure that “everything we can do locally is being done” in rape and sexual offence cases.

“Rape and sexual offences are among some of the most serious and high impact crimes against a person and victims need to have the confidence to come forward and report to the police,” adds the strategy.

Documents as part of the strategy look at how “demand on the force has changed” post Covid and “see how the police understand what has happened and how they are responding to it.

Under the initiative to tackle crime and anti social behaviour, Dr Billings has asked officers to “increase focus on those crimes that have caused most anxiety in our communities,” including burglary, vehicle crime, robbery, theft, hate crime and serious violence.

“I am particularly anxious that police understand why some crimes – such as burglary – are so prevalent in South Yorkshire and what we have to do to reduce them,” Dr Billings adds.

“I firmly believe that the loss of 20,000 police nationally and 500 or so in South Yorkshire after 2010, led to an expansion of the drugs markets and associated criminality, including child criminal exploitation, county lines, knife and gun crime.

“I welcome the government’s commitment to restore the cuts and will go beyond that by providing an additional 220 police in South Yorkshire by 2024.”

If approved at the next meeting of the PCC public accountability board on August 13, the plan will be adopted and published on the force’s website.