Scores of Dinnington residents shocked by a spate of serious crimes attended a town council meeting this week to voice their criticism of South Yorkshire Police.
About 80 members of the public used the open question session at the start of the meeting on Monday, October 15, to voice their concerns – and Dinnington Town Council members resolved to submit a formal complaint.
The angry scenes followed a seven-day period in which Tesco, on Undergate Road, was hit by ram raiders, and armed robberies were carried out on Domino’s Pizza, a Salvation Army charity shop, and the post office in nearby South Anston.
Councillor David Smith, council chairman, said: “I invited Inspector Caroline Bakewell to attend the meeting, but no one from the police showed up, but other people wanted to make their feelings clear.
“When you have a woman working alone in a charity shop held up at knifepoint in daylight, it’s gone beyond the pale. I’ve had people tell me they feel too unsafe to shop in the town.
“Since our police station closed three or four years ago, we’ve seen a steady rise in crime.
“We’re supposed to have two dedicated police constables, but in 18 months I have not see either of them anywhere, only an occasional PCSO. The only policing we get is reactive, nothing proactive.
“We were promised by the police and crime commissioner and Chief Constable that they were moving away from the ‘hub’ system, where our officers were stationed at Maltby, and bringing back neighbourhood policing – it hasn’t happened.”
Two men have been charged in connection with the South Anston robbery, and two others arrested and released on bail, while enquiries are ongoing in all four cases.
The formal complaint has not yet been submitted.
South Yorkshire Police had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press, but has called a public meeting at the Dinnington Resource Centre on Thursday, October 25, starting at 7pm.