HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service have published their inspection into how effectively and efficiently the Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUS) deal with threats from serious and organised crime.
The ROCUs work with local police forces to tackle the crime gangs whose activities extend across county boundaries. This includes those gangs that traffick people and are involved in the market of illicit drugs.
The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings said: “I welcome the report. The ROCUs play a vital role in keeping us safe from some of the most serious criminals whose activities extend across county boundaries.
“These crime gangs are into drugs and do not hesitate to use violence, including guns and knives. They are also involved in major fraud and money laundering that again crosses boundaries. But we need the ROCUs to be efficient if they are to be effective.
“The report makes it clear that the effectiveness of the ROCUs is hindered by inadequate and confused funding arrangements by central government.
“It is not unusual for them to be told about funding only after the financial year has begun and that makes it very difficult to recruit and retain staff.
“We need the government to take proper responsibility and ensure funding is timely and over more than one year at a time, otherwise the work of the ROCUs is always going to be hampered.”