South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, spoke to an open meeting of the Crosspool Community Forum in St Columba’s Church Hall on Friday 24 April.

He was invited by the chair, Ian Hague, to explain his Police and Crime Plan and the new Local Policing Teams that will start operating in Sheffield from September.

Dr Billings explained that the new Local Policing Teams will be bigger than neighbourhood teams because they will combine the current response and neighbourhood teams into one, operating a 24 hour, 7 day, shift pattern.

He said: “Because all police officers will have access to portable laptops that they call ‘tough books’, they will be able to stay longer in the community.  In the past they had to return to the police station each time they needed to write up a report.

“Police and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will remain unchanged and community-focussed meaning the net result of the changes will be a more visible police presence than at present.

“This will help to keep Crosspool the relatively low crime and anti-social behaviour area it already is. There has been no increase in recorded crime since 2013.”

Dr Billings went on to thank the local councillors who were assiduous in reporting potential anti-social behaviour issues to him and the police before they escalated.

He was accompanied by Chief Inspector Jayne Forrest who assured the forum that the new teams would have a strong neighbourhood focus.