South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner - Dr Alan Billings
Alan Billings – South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner
The people of South Yorkshire elected Dr Alan Billings as their Police and Crime Commissioner at a by-election which took place on 30 October 2014.
Commissioner Billings took office on Monday 3 November 2014 after swearing an Oath at a ceremony with the Police Area Returning Officer.
Dr Alan Billings was until recently a board member of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, which oversees the work of the criminal justice system for the under 18s. He is also a former member of the England Committee of the Big Lottery Fund and Director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion at Lancaster University.
In the 1980s Dr Billings was Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council and a councillor for Walkley Ward.
He served as a Church of England Parish Priest in four parishes, including spells in inner-city Sheffield and in the mining community of Beighton. He has also trained clergy at two theological colleges - Ripon College, Cuddesdon, Oxford (Anglican), and The Queen's College, Birmingham (ecumenical).
Many will know him as a regular contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
He has written several books, the latest being: The Dove, the Fig Leaf and the Sword: why Christianity changes its mind about war (SPCK 2014).
My role and priorities as your Police and Crime Commissioner
I will work to bring about real change in South Yorkshire Police so that the public’s trust in them can start to be rebuilt. I want to see a police force that is more responsive to the public and that puts victims first.
I will be supportive of the police, but not part of their culture. The vast majority of South Yorkshire police men and women, and the civilian staff, do excellent work and can be proud of the uniform they wear. But they also need to face some hard truths.
I will make tackling child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and across South Yorkshire an immediate priority. We must ensure that we have identified all the victims and that they are getting the support they need. We must catch and prosecute those who have abused them. We must hold to account those in positions of authority that turned a blind eye to the abuse – both in the police and in other agencies.
Beyond that we need a long-term plan to restore public trust in the police.
- I will make sure that the systemic failings of the past - which resulted in a failure to prosecute perpetrators of grooming and sexual exploitation - are indeed in the past and not a current issue. I will ensure that officers have appropriate training in place both to identify and understand these crimes and to support victims properly.
- I will implement a comprehensive strategy for tackling all types of violence against women and girls, along the lines of the excellent work being done by the Commissioner in the North East, Vera Baird QC.
- I will press for the IPCC to publish without delay their long-awaited report into Orgreave and ensure that justice is done in the case of the Hillsborough football tragedy.
- More broadly, I will support the valued work of neighbourhood policing teams and Police Community Support Officers. High visibility policing is a critical factor in people feeling safe.
- I will do whatever I can to ensure that voluntary sector organisations in South Yorkshire, who help to reduce crime or help the victims of crime, are properly funded. As a small part of this, I will only take half the salary of the PCC, and will give the other half to South Yorkshire victims’ charities.
- And I will work with all communities across South Yorkshire to bring people together to face the challenges ahead. We cannot allow the terrible events in Rotherham to divide our communities or turn one section of society upon another.
I will try to be a voice for all people in South Yorkshire. A people’s commissioner.
The salary of the Police and Crime Commissioner is £85,000 per year however Commissioner Billings takes half of this salary and donates the other half to charities which support victims.