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South Yorkshire 2017

Read more about South Yorkshire 2017

This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of South Yorkshire Police. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.

The extent to which the force is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime is not yet graded.

The extent to which the force is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.

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

The efficiency and legitimacy inspection findings are published below.

Matt Parr, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary

Contact Matt Parr

HMI's observations

My overall assessment of South Yorkshire’s performance will be published in spring 2018, following the publication of the effectiveness inspections in March 2018.


How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

To be graded
View the five questions for effectiveness


How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 25/10/2017
Requires improvement

South Yorkshire Police is judged to require improvement in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This is consistent with last year’s assessment. The force’s understanding of demand is judged to require improvement; it is assessed to require improvement for its use of resources to manage demand; and its planning for future demand is judged to require improvement.

The way in which South Yorkshire Police understands demand for its services requires improvement. The force has made good progress in addressing the cause of concern in HMICFRS’ 2016 efficiency inspection, although it is too early to fully assess the overall impact on the cause of concern. The force is developing its understanding of the demand for its services to inform its new operating model. It has introduced effective governance processes to ensure that the force is reducing inefficiencies, realising the benefits of changes and avoiding the unintended consequences. The force has processes to prioritise demand from calls for service, but it is not yet able to respond to the demand from non-urgent calls on a consistent basis.

The way in which South Yorkshire Police understands and uses its resources requires improvement. The force has not addressed the cause of concern we reported in 2016: it still does not understand sufficiently the skills and capability of its workforce and the skills and capabilities it needs now and in the future. The force is, however, progressing well in understanding the leadership skills it needs and has responded well to the areas for improvement we raised in 2016. This understanding allows the force to match the leadership skills to needs when planning moves across the force. It is providing a wide range of leadership development to its workforce, particularly in the softer skills required by today’s leaders.

The way in which South Yorkshire Police plans for the future requires improvement. The force has made some progress against the cause of concern from HMICFRS’ 2016 efficiency inspection that the force did not have a coherent set of future plans. The force has comprehensive financial plans; however, these are not yet fully integrated with its workforce planning or its understanding of demand. The force should also improve how it plans to achieve the savings it will need.

View the three questions for efficiency


How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?

Last updated 12/12/2017

South Yorkshire Police is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is more positive than last year when we judged the force to require improvement. The force is judged to be good at treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect and good at ensuring its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. However, some aspects of the way in which it treats its workforce with fairness and respect are judged to require improvement.

South Yorkshire Police understands the importance of treating people with fairness and respect and continues to emphasise the standard of behaviour it expects from the workforce. The force understands the importance of fair and respectful treatment, seeks feedback from those who use its services and encourages external advisory groups to examine its work closely. The workforce has a good understanding of how to use its coercive powers fairly and respectfully. Its use of its stop and search powers is also good.

South Yorkshire Police has strong ethical leadership through its chief officer team, which was newly formed in 2017. Leaders are good at seeking advice from others and at considering the ethical implications of decisions. The force provides the public with clear, useful and accessible information about how to make a complaint. It is good also at keeping complainants updated and it supplies them with the relevant statutory information and the findings once a complaint has been resolved. The force identifies, responds to and investigates allegations of discrimination well.

However, South Yorkshire Police needs to improve some aspects of the fair and respectful treatment of its workforce, especially the way it communicates and supports wellbeing and prevents problems with workforce wellbeing. It has improved its understanding of the risks and threats to workforce wellbeing, but still gives insufficient weight to mental and emotional wellbeing. It has in place only a limited range of effective, preventative measures designed to improve wellbeing and minimise the risks to workforce wellbeing. The force seeks feedback from the workforce. Generally, it responds well once concerns, including grievances, have been identified. Its processes for managing performance, identifying and developing talent and selecting candidates for leadership are fair and transparent, although independent oversight of these processes remains limited. The force understands fully the importance of addressing potential disproportionality in the recruitment, retention and progression of members of the workforce – and in complaint and misconduct allegations. It is addressing this problem whenever it encounters it.

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 (for instance, our 2016 leadership assessment); 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

Force Area

599 square miles


1.37m people 7% local 10 yr change


73% frontline 78% national level
3.5 per 1000 population 3.6 national level
16% change in local workforce since 2010 15% national change since 2010

Victim-based crimes

0.06 per person 0.06 national level
Local 5 year trend (no change) National 5 year trend (no change)


51p per person per day local 55p 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

My Police and Crime Plan Priorities will remain unchanged from previous years:

  • Protecting Vulnerable People,
  • Tackling Crime and ASB,
  • Enabling Fair Treatment.

The outcomes that I will be setting the force and partners to work towards will be published shortly along with the full plan on my website.