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South Yorkshire 2018/19

Read more about South Yorkshire

This is HMICFRS’s fifth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of South Yorkshire Police. PEEL is designed to give you information about how your local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year.

South Yorkshire Police was inspected in tranche two and we found:

the extent to which the force is effective at reducing crime and keeping people safe is good.

the extent to which the force operates efficiently and sustainably is good.

the extent to which the force treats the public and its workforce legitimately is good.

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PEEL: Police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy 2018/19 – South Yorkshire Police

Phil Gormley, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary


HMI's observations

I am very pleased with South Yorkshire Police’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime. In particular, it is outstanding in how it maintains an ethical culture.

The force is good at preventing crime and anti-social behaviour. It is good at investigating crime and continues to use its improved investigative processes across the organisation. While the force has improved how well it protects vulnerable people, it still doesn’t always respond to them quickly enough.

The force has improved some of its crime-recording processes but has more work to do.

South Yorkshire Police understands the current and future demand for its services much better than it has done before. It has used this knowledge to develop strong financial and workforce plans.

Senior leaders support the workforce. I am impressed by how well they encourage a culture of ethical behaviour and promote professional standards of behaviour.

Overall, I commend South Yorkshire Police for the progress it has made over the past year. This gives a good foundation for continuing to improve in the year ahead.


How effectively does the force reduce crime and keep people safe?

Last updated 27/09/2019

During our 2019 effectiveness inspection, we found that South Yorkshire Police is good at reducing crime and keeping people safe. The force continues to be good at preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour and at tackling serious and organised crime.

The force is generally good at investigating crime. It has changed its structures and processes to improve how it investigates crime. The force’s crime support hub is very effective. The force should reduce delays in investigations that involve digital evidence. It is the first force to have developed and delivered a specialist course for police staff who are investigating crimes against vulnerable victims.

The force is good at managing wanted persons and outstanding suspects. It works well with its partner organisations to check the status of arrested foreign nationals. It understands and uses bail well. When releasing suspects under investigation, it tries to make sure it protects vulnerable victims. It is working to improve the quality of its case files to meet its disclosure obligations.

The force is good at protecting vulnerable people and works well with partners to do this. It has a good understanding of vulnerability and supports its staff in identifying this. However, officers need to spot less obvious signs of vulnerability more consistently.

The force is good at using its powers and protective orders to protect victims. However, supervisors need to monitor domestic abuse risk assessments that are re-graded. South Yorkshire Police is good at working with its partners to manage and prevent the demand from mental health. The force can’t always respond to emergency and priority calls involving vulnerable people quickly enough. But it is doing the best it can to manage and prioritise its resources well.

View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficiently does the force operate and how sustainable are its services to the public?

Last updated 27/09/2019

South Yorkshire Police operates efficiently and its services to the public are sustainable. It is good at meeting current demand and using its resources. It is also good at future planning. It has redesigned its services and works well with partners to reduce demand and provide a better quality of service to the public. It puts its resources where they are most needed, and it tries out new ideas and is investing in technology.

The force provides an efficient service to the public within the budget it has. But it doesn’t have enough resources to respond to all demand promptly. It will take some time to realise the benefits from the new force model. The force has a good ‘collaboration effectiveness framework’ and a ‘benefits realisation dashboard’. These help it monitor the benefits of its collaborations and any force changes.

The force has a culture of learning and innovation and an ambition to improve. It develops its workforce and leaders well and understands the skills and capabilities that it needs now and for the future. The force has good professional and leadership development programmes in place and continues to have a formal succession plan for senior leaders. It has career pathways that allow officers and staff to specialise. The force challenges itself to develop diverse leadership teams. It supports its workforce to develop and progress.

The force makes sensible investment decisions based on its priorities and public expectations. It has a good track record of making savings and has linked its financial plans with its workforce plan and new operating model. But it doesn’t have enough money to manage its historic enquiries as well as improve its services.

View the two questions for efficiency


How legitimately does the force treat the public and its workforce?

Last updated 27/09/2019

South Yorkshire Police treats the public and its workforce legitimately.

The force is outstanding at developing and maintaining an ethical culture. The chief constable and force leaders act as role models. The workforce knows and believes in the moral and ethical high standards expected of them. The force has a no-blame culture and it uses an organisational justice model to guide its decision making. It follows national vetting guidance and routinely monitors vetting decisions to identify and address any issues.

The force is outstanding at tackling corruption. It has conducted a full assessment of its corruption threats and has a clear strategy to tackle them. It takes early action to support people who may be at risk of corruption, and monitors information systems to identify corrupt behaviour.

The force is good at treating its workforce fairly. It works to understand the issues of fairness affecting its people and has a range of ways for staff to voice their concerns, and for leaders to seek and act on feedback. Where the force identifies unfairness, it works to reduce this. It has a positive action strategy to encourage more diversity in its workforce.

Wellbeing is a priority for the force. Leaders understand and promote this. We found a good range of self-help tools available for officers and staff. The force takes timely action to support its people, but its occupational health support needs to be more accessible.

The force manages the performance and development of its staff well. It has a good understanding of performance across its workforce and monitors for fair treatment. It has a good process for identifying talent. Its promotion processes are accessible, clear and open.

In 2017, we judged South Yorkshire Police as good at treating the public fairly.

View the three questions for legitimacy

Other inspections

How well has the force performed in our other inspections?

In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; others are joint inspections.

Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.

Key facts – 2019/20

Force Area

599 square miles


1.42m people
up6% local 10 yr change


92% frontline police officers
92% national level
3.57 per 1000 population
3.69 national level
down7% 10yr change in local workforce
down5% 10yr national change

Victim-based crimes

0.07 per person
0.06 national level
up12% Local 5 year trend
up9% National 5 year trend


53p per person per day local
59p per person per day national

Points of context provided by the force

  • South Yorkshire has long established, diverse communities and a proud history of welcoming refugees, Sheffield having been declared a “City of Sanctuary.”
  • South Yorkshire is home to two Universities and a large, vibrant student population. There are five professional football teams in the area, each with a passionate local following.

Police and crime plan priorities

A PCP sets out the police and crime commissioner’s (PCC’s) priorities for policing and the resources the PCC has allocated to the chief constable for achieving these priorities.