South Yorkshire Police has been told it ‘requires improvement’ by inspectors.
The South Yorkshire police force are one of eight considered below standard by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies, HMIC, in their latest inspection of efficiency.
The inspectors said that the force had been: “assessed as requires improvement in respect of the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime.”
“South Yorkshire Police has limited understanding of current and future demand and workforce capability. This is affecting adversely the quality of services it currently provides.”
They did say that the force was handling the current demand well but that it was struggling with preventative measures and understanding future demand.
The SYP’s new operating system was also criticised as being implemented “at a time when it did not properly understand its workforce capability and capacity.”
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, agreed with the criticism, saying that: “a lack of strategic vision and a failure to understand demand has made workforce planning too finance rather than function driven.”
Mr Billings did explain that most issues had already been identified by a peer review in May-June; “Nothing in this report comes as a surprise. The peer review findings have already provided the incoming Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, with a very clear idea of where the force’s priorities must lie… The HMIC report does not change those priorities but only confirms them.”
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Rachel Barber, added: “We are already acting on the areas highlighted as requiring improvement by HMIC, in line with the recommendations provided.”
“Every officer and member of staff within South Yorkshire Police is committed to ensuring our communities can have trust and confidence in the Force.”
This follows heavy recent pressure from campaigners’ eager for an investigation into the 1984 clashes at Orgreave.
A public inquiry into the violence between the miners and the South Yorkshire police forces has been ruled out but a group of MPs are now backing the investigation.
The PCC Mr Billings said he was shocked by the decision not to investigate: “This was a critical moment for the police service in South Yorkshire. It could have shown that it had really learned lessons of past mistakes and was ready to co-operate fully with any enquiry. We wanted to see a new era of openness with no attempt to be self-justifying or defensive.