This time a year ago, Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley closed the annual Doncaster awards ceremony, as the new District Commander.
Tonight (Tuesday 12 February), he will open the awards ceremony for officers and police staff on what marks one-year since he took up his post at Doncaster.
Over the past year, the district has undergone significant change, with an uplift in the number of operational staff, placing officers at the heart of demand. Over 100 warrants have also been carried out, targeting members of organised crime groups and significant improvements made in key areas, such as the town centre and Mexborough.
Mr Morley, who has 28-years of service with South Yorkshire Police, joined Doncaster in 2018 following an incredibly busy 2017, working in Sheffield as T/Chief Superintendent.
Since then, there has been a whirlwind of activity, focusing on the issues that matter most to the community, with some significant results achieved and now to be built on, as Mr Morley explains.
“Over the last year we have changed the way we operate at Doncaster. We are now far more proactive in the way we work, placing officers at the heart of where our demand is so they can really tackle the issues we know are of concern to our communities.
“The change to three main bases, now at Thorne, College Road and Mexborough, has enabled us to respond more efficiently to incidents. In addition to this, we’ve seen the return of CID staff to Doncaster, as well as our Protecting Vulnerable People Units.
“For you, as a resident of Doncaster, it means that officers can ultimately respond and deal with crimes more effectively to apprehend offenders and ensure victims receive the best service possible.
“With resources now based back in district, we have already reaped some of the rewards, with work carried out through the proactive and tasking teams within CID. Together, they have been focusing on tackling organised crime across Doncaster, which has been and remains one of our top priorities.
“The teams have executed over 100 warrants, apprehending over 50 of our key organised crime members. They have done an absolutely tremendous job, removing quantities of lethal drugs from our streets, and this in turn has led to a number of successful prosecutions and convictions.
“The other side of our work, that we’re really keen to focus on in Doncaster, is working with our communities to adopt a problem solving approach together.
“Mexborough is a good example of where our efforts, particularly in relation to working alongside key stakeholders such as the local authority and housing teams, has improved the quality of life for people living there.
“Our policing response in Mexborough was previously all reactive, but since joining the district 12 months ago, we are far more proactive and our dedicated operation tackling crime and improving the quality of life in Mexborough has received a lot of positive feedback from residents.
“It’s great to see the community taking pride in where they live and as a result of their work with us and with the local authority and our neighbourhood and tasking teams, I’m pleased to say antisocial behaviour has halved and crime has reduced.
“The town centre is also an area where we’ve seen significant improvements. A year ago, it’s fair to say that spice was a key issue and there was a real fear of crime around it.
“Through extensive work with Doncaster Council and St Leger Homes, taking a collaborative and integrated approach, we have successfully been tackling the use of and supply of drugs in the area. Not only that, but begging and antisocial behaviour has halved.
“Of course, there is still a lot to do within Doncaster and we are far from complacent. We are keen to continually keep improving, listening to what residents are concerned about and acting on that.
“However, our efforts so far have resulted in some significant improvements within our communities and we are going into 2019 in a positive place, where we can build on those improvements.”
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