New Doncaster police chief in crackdown on gangs in the town

Chief Supt Shaun Morley
Chief Supt Shaun Morley

Doncaster's new police chief today pledged to crackdown on gangs blighting the town in a bid to reduce fear and and make communities safer places to live.

Chief Superintendent Shaun Morley, who has transferred to Doncaster from Sheffield, said he is determined to make a difference in the town.

With experience of tackling organised crime groups in Sheffield, Doncaster's new district commander said successful tactics will be used again and warned those involved with gangs and associated criminality to expect raids and both overt and covert operations to identify culprits.

Chf Supt Morley, who is taking over from Tim Innes, who is retiring after 31 years, said tackling gangs is high on his agenda, along with increasing the number of neighbourhood police officers working in communities.

He said he is confident that a force-wide change, which will see detectives working back in districts rather than from a central pool, will have a major impact on gangs.

"A lot of work has already been done in Doncaster to dismantle organised crime groups and this will now be enhanced by having detectives and more officers back on the ground in the communities where they operate," he said.

"Having dedicated resources will mean we can really get to know the make up of these gangs and tackle the underlying reasons for their existence, which most of the time is drug supply networks. If we can dismantle these networks then we can dismantle the gangs."

Issuing a stark warning to those involved in organised criminality, he said: "We will leave no stone unturned until we have negated organised crime - that is the objective.

"We will re-organise internally to work better with partners to tackle organised crime groups from every conceivable angle - whether it is prevention, education, enforcement or working with those with vulnerabilities."

He said Doncaster communities will reap the benefits.

"The impact that dismantling gangs will have will be felt by local communities. There will be an improvement in quality of life for residents because these gangs generate fear, anti-social behaviour and crime. By tackling these issues and reducing demand it will mean we are able to have more resources working proactively and driving down demand even further - it is a win win."

Chf Supt Morley's predecessor, Tim Innes, who spent 12 months at the helm of policing in Doncaster, said it had been an honour for him to end his career in the town where he was born and brought up.

"It was an honour and a privilege to see out my operational career as the operational commander in Doncaster, being born and bred here," he said.

"I took over when austerity was biting as deep as it was ever going to but with the re-implementation of neighbourhood policing we are starting to see green shoots again and there are great opportunities ahead.

"We are starting to make in-roads with organised crime groups through the reintroduction of neighbourhood policing because when you lose that it creates a breeding ground for organised crime. We are back at the heart of communities now and the key is to grow this and get upstream of problems to deal with them before they escalate, which will reduce demand."