Dr Billings Responds to HMICFRS ‘Finding Time for Crime’ Report

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has responded to the release of HMICFRS ‘Finding time for crime’ report – the police response to burglary, robbery and other acquisitive crime.

Dr Billings said: “This report highlights key areas for improvement in how the police respond to and investigate acquisitive crime such as robbery, burglary and theft.

“The national picture is quite shocking. Charge rates, for example, are low and have dramatically decreased in recent years.

“Only seven percent of all robbery offences and four percent of thefts result in a charge. This is why in the current Police and Crime Plan I have made neighbourhood crime a priority for South Yorkshire Police and question them on the progress they are making each month at a Public Accountability Board.

“The HMI report does, however, point to areas of good practice by South Yorkshire Police. It shows measures that are working that SYP already has in place, and where improvements can be made in tackling serious acquisitive crime.

“Measures such as hotspot policing, focusing resources and activity where crime rates are highest and the use of Smartwater – an ultraviolet liquid, used to deter burglary and theft in hotspot areas – are working as a deterrent for repeat patterns of crime.

“South Yorkshire Police has also taken steps to make sure all eligible adult cautions have an element of condition attached. These conditions tackle the root causes of offending and help achieve compliance.

“This year, the force introduced bespoke interventions to support female offenders and offenders who are veterans of the armed forces, using a trauma-informed approach to reviewing their needs.

“South Yorkshire’s force also uses interventions to support offenders with issues relating to substance misuse, health, mental health and learning disabilities.

“The inspectors report has brought neighbourhood crimes firmly into the public spotlight and South Yorkshire Police and all forces must take it absolutely seriously and make rapid improvements.”