Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner met members of Edlington Town Council in Doncaster last week, Tuesday, 17 January 2017.

The councillors quizzed the Commissioner and the local police representative, inspector Dave Jones on a range of issues including the future of Edlington police station, neighbourhood policing, Orgreave and the 101 system.

In response to the questions Dr Billings said: “I am always happy to attend local meetings because it is an important way in which I get to understand what the different local issues are. This helps me in my formulating the Police and Crime Plan for South Yorkshire and my role of holding the police to account.

“As far as the police station is concerned, the police are currently looking at restoring neighbourhood policing which had been allowed to disintegrate in 2016. A new place-based approach is needed. All police buildings are also being looked at. Some are too costly to keep going and are not always pleasant environments for the police to work in. We are also looking at how we might share buildings with other agencies, including the Fire Service, as at Maltby. These decisions will be taken over the coming months.”

Dr Billings went on to speak about the Orgreave archives. South Yorkshire Police archives were all now lodged in the Sheffield archive. The Commissioner had given the funding for an archivist to catalogue them all professionally. He was in touch with the chair of the Home Affairs Committee to try to find a way of opening them up to the public now the Home Secretary has turned down a public enquiry.

He also commented on the 101 system. He said: “Waiting times are better than they were. More staff has been put in. But the system is 15 years old and needs replacing. A new system is being designed and will be installed in the near future.”

Dr Billings attended the meeting as part of his statutory obligation as Commissioner to engage with the public of South Yorkshire.  Further meetings are planned throughout the year across South Yorkshire.