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SYP To Change Approach.....Finally

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South Yorkshire police to change approach to football after heavy criticism

 Force accused of violent, dangerous policing at Sheffield derby 
 Launch of new policy seen by experts as nationally significant

David Conn

Fri 14 Jun 2019 08.13 EDT

 

Police at Hillsborough. The South Yorkshire force intends to ‘adopt a more community style of policing’ at football.  Police at Hillsborough. The South Yorkshire force intends to ‘adopt a more community style of policing’ at football. Photograph: Nigel French/PA

South Yorkshire police is to change its approach to policing football after an internal review following its operation at the Sheffield derby in March, which was heavily criticised by supporters as heavy-handed, violent and dangerous.

Some supporters at the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United complained that they had been held in a crush outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Hillsborough, and that police officers had indiscriminately hit people caught in the crush with their batons.

 
 
 

The change of policy to “a more community style of policing, and engagement with fans” is due to be launched at a meeting of the force’s football policing officers on 5 July, according to an internal email seen by the Guardian. Sent by Paul McCurry, a superintendent in the force’s Sheffield local policing unit command team, the email invites officers to a full day “continuous professional development” session, and explains: “The purpose of this event will be to formally launch a new approach to policing football and other crowded events across South Yorkshire.

“This follows a thematic inspection into football policing and brings together best practice initiatives from other parts of the UK. Our new approach will see us adopt a more community style of policing, and engagement with fans at the heart of what we will deliver.”

This is seen by some football policing experts as nationally significant because the deputy chief constable of South Yorkshire police, Mark Roberts, is the national lead officer in the UK Football Policing Unit, an influential part of the Home Office.

Several other forces, including neighbouring West Yorkshire police, have for some time been developing a more consultative approach to policing football, which aims to work with supporters and differentiate between offending and boisterous behaviour. The policy, Enable, emphasises consultation with supporter groups, employs trained liaison officers to communicate with supporters on matchdays and aims to encourage a better atmosphere and behaviour by communication and dialogue.

Following the “steel derby”, the Football Supporters’ Federation received 1,012 responses to a survey, in which supporters rated South Yorkshire police’s post-match operation as on average 1.9 out of 10. More than 70.7% described police management of the exit from the stadium at the Leppings Lane end, which was allocated to Sheffield United supporters, as very poor. Almost 80% described South Yorkshire police as “worse than average” compared with other forces around the country.

In responses published by FSF, supporters described the policing at the Leppings Lane end as “atrocious”, “irresponsible”, “intimidating and unapproachable”. One supporter said of police officers: “Had no idea what they were doing. Swinging batons at anyone they pleased.” Another said that officers were “hitting people with batons when they tried to move in the crush of people,” and described that as “legalised assault”.

One supporter said: “Leppings Lane policing was irresponsible, bottlenecking fans on the road at the same time caused multiple fights and distress to regular fans.”

 

Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.

Photograph: Ryan Crockett/JMP/Rex/Shutterstock

 Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium. 

The police match commander, Ch Supt Shaun Morley, issued a statement on the night of the match saying that six people had been arrested after “some minor disorder” and thanking his officers “for their efforts professionalism and effectiveness in keeping the public safe”.

Following the criticisms, however, the force is understood to have asked a senior officer from another force to conduct the “thematic inspection” review, which has resulted in the launch of the new approach.

Dr Geoff Pearson, a senior law lecturer at Manchester university and one of the experts developing the Enable initiative, said he welcomed South Yorkshire police relaunching its approach.

“It is overdue and I hope that it will in turn influence the UK Football Policing Unit to develop a more dialogue-based approach to football policing nationally.”

In response to an inquiry from the Guardian about the launch of the new approach, a South Yorkshire police spokesperson said that McCurry’s use of the word “launch” was “misleading.” She said: “The new approach, as you describe it, is not being launched on 5 July.”

In a further clarification, the spokeswoman explained: “Part of the purpose of the 5 July event is to inform everyone there will be a change in approach to large-scale events, including football, and to seek other people’s views and insights.”

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Good. Definitely about time. 

I'm glad they're consulting with other forces. West Yorkshire Police seem to manage Elland Road fairly well.

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5 minutes ago, Owls Loyal said:

South Yorkshire Police should have been disbanded years ago.

 

How can anyone forget Orgreave, 130 fake and forced statements following the Hillsborough diaster and the 300 girls abused by Asian Grooming Gangs in Rotherham.

 

They even messed up in the Cliff Richard case.

 

SYP force are a complete laughing stock and it is unbelievable that they are still in existence.

 

And replaced with what? A local militia? :tango:

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6 minutes ago, Owls Loyal said:

South Yorkshire Police should have been disbanded years ago.

 

How can anyone forget Orgreave, 130 fake and forced statements following the Hillsborough diaster and the 300 girls abused by Asian Grooming Gangs in Rotherham.

 

They even messed up in the Cliff Richard case.

 

SYP force are a complete laughing stock and it is unbelievable that they are still in existence.

I know someone very senior in another force and SYP are a complete laughing stock amongst other forces too

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41 minutes ago, kristmace said:

Good. Definitely about time. 

I'm glad they're consulting with other forces. West Yorkshire Police seem to manage Elland Road fairly well.

have u been to leeds? there police are horrible and im not saying that just because I don't like leeds utd. they are the most heavy handed police in the uk, treat away supporters like animals and watch you like a hawk any slight chanting and they look to throw you out ,ive seen over handed tactics used by west Yorkshire police towards us, not seen that anywhere else. you treat supporters right and talk/joke with them and you in general will get a better behaved bunch. 

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Can’t believe they give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done, then actually bother to ask the public what they think only to then have to fundamentally review their entire operation and do a complete u turn. You really couldn’t make it up.

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It wasn't the first time they've been heavy handed and it won't be the last

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1 hour ago, Minton said:

 

And replaced with what? A local militia? :tango:

 

No maybe just merged with the other local constabularies who seem to police quite well compared to South Yorkshire Police. 

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1 hour ago, sweetsheri said:

I know someone very senior in another force and SYP are a complete laughing stock amongst other forces too

 

Likewise - They are considered lauaghable

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7 minutes ago, steveger said:

 

No maybe just merged with the other local constabularies who seem to police quite well compared to South Yorkshire Police. 

 

I work alongside the police on a few TV shows and I clearly you don't have any idea how vast the areas are that the individual forces cover with so few officers. If some football fans stopped being such tails and just flipping behaved themselves (you know, like the majority of fans do already) then maybe things would improve.

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2 minutes ago, Minton said:

 

I work alongside the police on a few TV shows and I clearly you don't have any idea how vast the areas are that the individual forces cover with so few officers. If some football fans stopped being such tails and just flipping behaved themselves (you know, like the majority of fans do already) then maybe things would improve.

Yea..Ive seen some o them TV audiences....f.ookin' mad coke heads  lol

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4 minutes ago, asteener1867 said:

Yea..Ive seen some o them TV audiences....f.ookin' mad coke heads  lol

 

I'm part of the crew on Traffic Cops and Interceptors. Telly folk are a picnic compared to some of the stuff we end up filming. We had one guy doing 151mph on the wrong side of a dual carriageway a couple of weeks ago 

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2 minutes ago, Minton said:

 

I'm part of the crew on Traffic Cops and Interceptors. Telly folk are a picnic compared to some of the stuff we end up filming. We had one guy doing 151mph on the wrong side of a dual carriageway a couple of weeks ago 

Yea but you don't treat 'em like tw *ts  while they are doing 30 do you...?

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Will just mean our game at Oakwell will kick off at 12.15 instead of 12.00

 

Nothing will change

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Next year they'll reduce the "clobber fan in head" quota to below 50

 

 

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