Police teams to merge says Sheffield commander

Chief Superintendent David Hartley on patrol in Sheffield
Chief Superintendent David Hartley on patrol in Sheffield

Policing teams are to be merged across Sheffield as part of attempts to save millions by next year, the city’s top policeman has said.

A review of how local policing is structured is nearing completion, with changes expected to be announced in the next few months.

Ch Supt David Hartley, Sheffield district commander.

Ch Supt David Hartley, Sheffield district commander.

An HMIC report last year raised concerns about the force’s progress in making £49.3 million of cuts between 2010 and 2015, with more than 250 police officers to be lost as part of the cutbacks.

Chief Superintendent David Hartley, Sheffield district commander, said the review is taking place as part of efforts to make savings. He said proposals are yet to be finalised, but changes are planned.

He said: “With the scale of the cuts we face, it would be wrong to say there will be no changes - the cuts are so deep we are likely to see some change in service.

“We will see a different form of neighbourhood policing. Some teams are dedicated to work in neighbourhoods full time. There will be some merging and overlapping of roles between response, neighbourhood and investigation.”

He said implementing the new system should start later in this financial year.

Mr Hartley spoke to The Star following the recent BBC Two documentary on the work of South Yorkshire Police, ‘Policing Under Pressure’.

The documentary, which was filmed over the course of several months last year, showed officers in Sheffield attempting to reduce burglary and vehicle crime rates while dealing with the impact of cuts.

Mr Hartley said progress has been made since the documentary was filmed, with crime figures decreasing.

In 2013, the number of recorded burglaries was 15,821 - down by almost 1,000 on the 16,725 reported to police the year before. The number of reported vehicle crimes also fell from 12,479 to 12,041.

He said: “There is not a shred of complacency from me or my colleagues at Sheffield when we look at some of the reductions achieved - we still have more to do.”