Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I welcome the report of the Inspectorate. It helps me, and the force, understand better the areas where good work is being done and the areas where further thought needs to be given.
“The inspectors say the force is ‘good’ in using its resources to meet demand. They acknowledge that the force has taken important steps to recognise how crime is changing and how frontline policing should be deployed in the new Local Policing Teams. They believe the force has a good overview of demand and is good at focusing resources to maximise impact. The use of new personal radios that enable supervisors to see where officers are at all times has been important here.
“I note that of those who have unfortunately been victims of crime, 86.5% were satisfied with the way South Yorkshire Police dealt with them, as compared with 83.8% for the country as a whole.
“The force is also making good use of new technology.
“The areas for criticism are mainly around issues of financial sustainability.
“We need to remember that in South Yorkshire we face extensive and unique pressures on our budgets that other forces do not have, such as the legal obligation I have to fund both the Chief Constable and other officers involved in the ongoing Hillsborough Inquiries. We now understand that the Inquests will conclude early in the New Year.
“Also, we do not yet know the extent of the costs of the child sexual exploitation investigations within South Yorkshire, especially those being carried out by the National Crime Agency, over which we have no control.
“However, since the inspectors visited in May we have completed a voluntary redundancy programme and received Special Grant funding from the Home Secretary for all but 1% of the costs of the Hillsborough Inquests up to March 2015. The new Local Policing Teams will produce further savings, as will collaborative working with Humberside Police and we are undertaking considerable work to create a strategic vision to ensure the force can meet the challenges that we will face over the next five years.
“The financial position of the force could be significantly made worse if the Chancellor’s spending review in a few weeks time leads to further cuts in the police grant. At that point, further spending decisions may be required”