Response to the Government’s Beating Crime Plan

The Government has today published it’s Beating Crime Plan which sets out its approach to cutting crime.

The Plan sets out new measures to drive down crime and tackle underlying causes of repeat offending. Police forces will be asked to focus on the places where crimes occur, the people who commit them and the criminal enterprises that fuel the drugs trade.

It will also introduce league tables for 999 and 101 call answering times and see dedicated neighbourhood police officers for all areas.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I welcome the government’s Beating Crime Plan. It is a serious attempt to pull together many initiatives, to get on top of crime and make the country safer – and no one could object to that.

“Many of the things the government wants to see are already happening in South Yorkshire – such as our restoration of neighbourhood teams where officers are known to their communities.

“We are also planning to go beyond the government’s target of extra police officers and will fund a further 220 in South Yorkshire from our own resources by 2024.

“I welcome also the emphasis on anti-social behaviour. ASB creates victims as much as crime. Where it is persistent, and police and partners struggle to prevent it, it can leave people in utter despair. I will look to the government to give police and local authorities the powers they need to prevent it.

“I do not believe, however, that publishing league tables for 101 response times will be helpful. Urban areas with more crime and ASB have more demand on them than more rural areas and it makes no sense trying to compare them.

“I want to see good response times, but equally important is having the resources to answer those calls with a good service.

“We should not, however, forget that much of this programme is a belated attempt to restore the damage done to services by previous Conservative governments. They cut police officer numbers by 20,000, allowing criminal gangs to take root. They split the Probation service in two, privatising one half, and have only now joined the two parts together.

“But we will work with government, using our Violence Reduction Unit to steer young people away from crime and bringing partners together to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.”