A major turning point for South Yorkshire Police as progress is formally recognised by HMIC

Following a meeting chaired by HMCIC Sir Thomas Winsor of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS), last week, it was confirmed that the significant improvements made by the force over the past two years, are such that SYP will no longer be subject to an enhanced level of monitoring.

These measures are put in place by HMICFRS when a force is deemed not to be responding to or not succeeding in managing a cause of concern. The force is placed into what could be described as ‘special measures’ and results in a greater level of scrutiny.

This announcement represents a real milestone for South Yorkshire Police in recognising the plethora of improvements that we have achieved over the past two years. In 2016, the force was formally moved to the ‘engage’ stage of HMICFRS’s monitoring process due to the level of concern relating to the organisation, at that time.

Since then, the force has been assessed as ‘good’ in respect of effectiveness, leadership and legitimacy. Individual causes of concern surrounding the efficiency of the force have also been lifted and HM Inspectors have expressed their confidence that the current momentum will be maintained and further improvements realised.

Stephen Watson, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police said: “I am delighted the ongoing efforts of our talented and committed officers and staff have been so powerfully recognised.

“The one constant in what has otherwise been a huge amount of change has been the tireless commitment of our people. 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.

“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. We are now actively seeking ways to increase the numbers of police officers on our streets, despite ongoing financial pressures, having demonstrated how rapidly these improvements have taken hold. SYP will increase the numbers of police officers for the first time since 2010 and we will be recruiting record numbers during 2019.

“I am immensely proud of the force and the men and women who serve our public so bravely and professionally. We enter into this new chapter in our history with real optimism and determination. We are here for the public and will be relentless in doing the very best for them.”

HM Inspector of Constabulary 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.”

Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has welcomed the decision by HMICFRS to move South Yorkshire Police from the engage to the scan stage of the monitoring process.

“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.

“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.”

In line with other police forces, South Yorkshire Police will now return to the standard level of monitoring, with quarterly reviews conducted by HMICFRS, using data and information from a range of sources to highlight and identify potential performance issues and possible causes of concern.

For further information on the HMICFRS monitoring process, please click here.

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