Dr Alan Billings
People often ask me what I do as Police and Crime Commissioner. I suppose this is because Commissioners are a relatively new idea. They have only been in existence since 2012.
The work of the police used to be overseen by a Police Authority. This consisted mainly of councillors drawn from local councils – in South Yorkshire that was the four district councils.
But the Home Secretary, Theresa May, felt that these Police Authorities had not been as effective as they should have been. They had not always been robust in questioning the police. And the members of Police Authorities were largely unknown to the public.
She wanted a single person who would have a higher public profile and be directly elected. All his or her working time and energy would be focussed on policing and criminal justice matters. Now there is an elected Commissioner for each of the police force areas of the country.
I took up my post in November 2014 following a by-election across the districts of Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley – about 1.3 million people. So I have been Police and Crime Commissioner for just six months.
Briefly, there are two parts to my job. Read more ...