State of Policing Annual Report

Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor has today released his Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2020. In the report he described changing crime pattern and a move by criminals to commit more crimes online and highlights how the pandemic has increased the vulnerability of domestic abuse victims.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the report released today.

He said: “The Chief Inspector makes the point strongly that for policing to be effective, many other parts of the public sector must work effectively as well. There is little point in increasing police officer numbers if other bodies are struggling.

“These include the courts, which were initially hit hard by the need to have buildings where social distancing could be observed. Fortunately, our courts responded very quickly and we have not needed a Nightingale Court to be built in South Yorkshire.

“But going forward, we need clarity around the rules about self-isolation if people are pinged by the NHS app. Jury trials could be threatened if too many people – jurors, lawyers or court staff – were suddenly unable to attend.

“As police and crime commissioner I have been able to give funding throughout the year to some support services – such as those for Domestic Abuse victims. But there are areas where only greater and more focused government help will make a difference – such as help for those with mental health issues who, the Chief Inspector believes, are currently being failed.

“The Chief Inspector draws attention to the way much crime moved on line during the lockdowns. If these crimes are to be investigated we need officers and staff who know their way around the technology – and the public will need to understand that this type of crime is not addressed by having more ‘bobbies on the beat’ but by skilled people who are unseen by the public.”

The full report can be accessed here: State of Policing: The Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2020