South Yorkshire PCC Responds to HMICFRS Homicide Prevention Report

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has responded to a new report, looking at how effectively police forces understand patterns and causes of homicide.

The report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS): Homicide prevention: An inspection of the police contribution to the prevention of homicide, inspected South Yorkshire’s force as part of their research.

Eight police forces across England provided evidence to show how effectively they understand patterns and causes of homicide.

The report shows that most police forces effectively identify patterns and causes of homicide, and allocate the right resources to prevent it, but there is still too much inconsistency in how policing tackles homicide prevention.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Billings said: “A range of factors can lead to homicide, including domestic abuse, organised crime, drug and alcohol abuse and gang violence.

“It’s vital that police forces understand the picture clearly in their area, as every county will have different challenges and demographics.”

The report highlights that in South Yorkshire, police use the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) effectively, which allows the police to disclose information about someone’s previous history of domestic abuse or violent acts. The Force has a team that identifies cases where disclosures were needed to protect people.

As part of the report, HMICFRS looked at how forces manage a ‘potentially dangerous person’ (PDP); a person who is believed to pose a risk of committing offences that will cause serious harm.

South Yorkshire Police is highlighted for introducing meetings in two areas to help manage the risk presented by PDPs and using a risk matrix to help officers allocate a risk rating to the person.

This means they can prioritise people more likely to commit a homicide and allocate resources to protect the public.

Dr Billings continues: “I’m pleased to see South Yorkshire Police highlighted for their efforts in assessing the risk posed by individuals, allowing them to take action before further crimes can be committed.

“I welcome this report and its findings and hope it will work towards improving consistency between force areas.”

Read the full report here.