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Press release

Local Impact – South Yorkshire

Police Now officers tackling crime and anti-social behaviour across the South Yorkshire

Wednesday 2 June 2021

Nearly 4,000 fewer anti-social behaviour incidents nationally in areas with Police Now officers – equivalent to 22% fall

Substantial decrease in criminal damage & arson, burglary and theft amongst other crimes

Police Now attracts and develops the most diverse group of officers in policing

Police Now officers are playing a vital role in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the South Yorkshire.

Communities nationwide where Police Now officers have been posted for the last 22-months have seen 38,772 fewer incidents of anti-social behaviour compared to the same time period from October 2016 – equivalent to a 14 per cent drop.

Officers on Police Now’s National Graduate Leadership Programme have been working alongside their colleagues within their local neighbourhood teams.

As well as the drop in anti-social behaviour, communities have also seen 14,301 fewer incidents of criminal damage & arson – a fall of 13 per cent. There were 12,460 fewer incidents of burglary – a fall of 16 per cent – and 31,732 fewer incidents of theft, equivalent to a 14 per cent fall.

PC Fran Robbs de la Hoyde of South Yorkshire Police designed a system that dramatically improved communication between Kendray Hospital in Barnsley, a mental health facility, and South Yorkshire Police. This in turn reduced the number of emergency welfare calls to police about missing mental health patients by half and reduced the number of calls where insufficient information was given to zero.

Support of Mental Health Facilities represents significant demand on frontline resources nationally. The number of missing patients at Kendray Hospital was costing around £92,000 in police support. Of the calls to the police from the hospital in 2018, nearly one in three (30 per cent) related to missing patients.

PC Robbs de la Hoyde worked with the South and West Yorkshire NHS trust to understand the problem. She developed a training programme and flow chart focused on improving the risk classification process. Due to the success of this project, it has since been adopted as best practice across the force.

Police Now’s mission is to transform communities by recruiting, developing and inspiring diverse leaders in policing.

Officers on Police Now’s programmes develop skills in leadership and problem-solving. They share a commitment to public service, fighting crime and inspiring social change alongside their colleagues.

Police Now has recruited a total of 1,830 officers across 33 forces in the UK, including South Yorkshire Police who have partnered with Police Now for the past four years, with 60 police constables and 22 detective constables joining the force via this route.

Police Now consistently recruits more officers who are women or from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds compared to any other entry route into policing. Police Now recruitment data shows that of those starting on Police Now’s programmes in South Yorkshire in 2020/21, more than two thirds (71 per cent) identified as women.

“We’re incredibly proud of the positive impact our participants continue to have within their local communities, and their commitment to driving positive change with their colleagues so that everyone in our society, including the most vulnerable, have a chance to thrive”.

David Spencer

Co-founder of Police Now and former Detective Chief Inspector

Neighbourhood police officer | Fran Robbs De La Hoyde

Neighbourhood policing with Police Constable Fran Robbs De La Hoyde

Neighbourhood Police Officer

National Graduate Leadership Programme Alumnus

South Yorkshire Police

What problem were you trying to solve?

Support of Mental Health Facilities represents significant demand on frontline resources nationally. Kendray Hospital in Barnsley is a clear example of this in action, with an annual cost of approximately £92,000 for police support of missing persons. Of the calls to the police from the hospital in 2018, 29.7% related to missing patients – almost all of which were resource intensive cases. There is a requirement in policy for individuals detained under the Mental Health Act to be reported missing to the police if their whereabouts cannot be accounted for. However, discrepancies in the risk categorisation process between the hospital staff and the police was leading to miscommunication and an ineffective response. As such, I created an intervention designed to simultaneously reduce demand on South Yorkshire Police and reduce risk to vulnerable patients.

What approach did you take?

Through partnership work with the South and West Yorkshire NHS trust, I identified a problem with the understanding and execution of the missing persons policy. Having identified a training gap, I worked with senior management staff at the hospital to devise a training package to deliver to those working on the ward. This was based on the existing policy but tailored for the needs of those working on the frontline. The training aimed to improve knowledge of responsibilities throughout the missing persons reporting process, including a more thorough use of the risk classification. In an effort to simplify the information and produce a straightforward guide, I designed a flow chart which encapsulated all the steps that are required when reporting missing patients of all risk categories. I also developed small changes in procedures to improve efficiencies in the reporting process.

What was the impact?

The effectiveness of this intervention was analysed over the same six-month period, prior to and after it was implemented, to control for temporal variations. The analysis showed there was a total reduction of 50% in calls to the service for missing mental health patients at Kendray Hospital and a 100% decrease in incidents in which insufficient information was passed to police about the patient’s detention under the Mental Health Act. This was as a result of enhanced communication and understanding between ward staff and police and an increased number of patients being allocated to a more appropriate risk grading. Due to the success of this project, it has since been adopted as best practice across the force.

Data references

Using data taken from Police Recorded Crime Statistics, the independently peer-reviewed figures compare the 22-month period from October 2016 to July 2018 before any Police Now officers had joined their local communities to the period when they joined from October 2018 to July 2020.

The data presented here is subject to limitations with Police Recorded Crime Statistics and methodology. More details on this are available at the bottom of the following Police Now webpage.


For any enquiries please get in touch with us. 


Head of Media and Communications


Media and Communications Assistant Manager

Dorset Police

Police Now | Dorset Police
Scott Chilton - Dorset Police Chief Constable

Scott Chilton

Chief Constable

National Graduate Leadership Programme

Cohorts: 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled: 6

National Detective Programme

Cohorts: —— —— —— —— 2019 2020
No. of police officers enrolled:

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