South Yorkshire Police leads national problem solving programme after £6.35m Police Transformation Fund award

Date published: 20 May 2020 09:33
Dated: 09 August 2018 15:34:24

South Yorkshire Police is leading on a national problem solving and demand reduction partnership working initiative after being awarded £6.35 million of funding from the Home Office over three years.

The sum, awarded to South Yorkshire Police from the Police Transformation Fund in 2017, is being used to fund a three-year programme of work which will help to transform ways of working across the police at a local, regional and national level.

Since the funding was granted in late 2017, the force has established a Problem Solving and Demand Reduction programme team, and has commissioned numerous work-streams that will embed problem solving as a core discipline across police forces in the UK.

The work-streams include the pilot of an IT system for use by South Yorkshire Police, Humberside Police and local authority partners, to enable the sharing of information regarding victims, offenders and locations for the first time, and the creation of a national knowledge hub to share best practice regarding problem solving and demand reduction amongst police forces.

As well as this, the programme has facilitated numerous peer support assessments to police forces across the UK, with a view of visiting all forces to provide guidance and support in implementing the problem solving discipline, and is supporting South Yorkshire Police in being a pilot force in embedding the new Neighbourhood Policing guidelines, created by the College of Policing.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson of South Yorkshire Police said: “We are delighted to have received this funding from the Police Transformation Fund. This is a fantastic opportunity for South Yorkshire Police to embed itself into the national policing picture as a lead for problem solving and demand reduction, and with myself holding the portfolio for crime prevention on behalf of the National Police Chief’s Council, I am confident that we will cement ourselves as UK leaders in this field.

“The programme team will develop an understanding of the prevention and problem solving knowledge and tools the police service currently uses, and those it requires in order to support the fundamental aim of the police, which is to make our communities safer.

“The team will also look into the standards required in this area, and will review academic evidence and the work of other sectors involved in prevention and problem solving. Knowledge and tools will be tested, before being evaluated and shared locally, regionally and nationally.

“As well as working with fellow forces, we will work in partnership with a number of others to deliver best practice solutions, including international problem solving experts, blue light partners and stakeholders such as Neighbourhood Watch, the NHS and University researchers.”

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is a very significant moment for South Yorkshire Police. This funding gives them a unique opportunity to design ways of working with local authorities, Neighbourhood Watch, the NHS, the universities and others that will put them at the forefront of tackling crime for the whole of the United Kingdom. The knowledge and expertise that will be developed here will be shared across the country.

"All forces are having to come to terms with a rapidly changing situation as the demand on the service increases but the resources available do not. Crime is changing as cyber crime, domestic abuse and human trafficking grow in significance. At the same time, new ways have to be found to reinforce neighbourhood policing with fewer officers.

“South Yorkshire Police now have the opportunity to research, plan, test and develop a first-class model of policing that will shape how they and other forces face the new challenges for years to come.”

South Yorkshire Police was selected as the worthy leaders of the prestigious programme following a comprehensive proposal submitted on behalf of Chief Constable Stephen Watson of South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, in partnership with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing.

The Police Transformation Fund is intended to transform policing by allocating extra investment into digitalisation, a diverse and flexible workforce and new capabilities to respond to changing crimes and threats.

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