Dr Alan Billings attended the July Mexborough Partners and Communities Together (PACT) meeting at the Resource Centre, Dolcliffe Road.

The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner told the well-attended meeting about his role in setting the priorities for the police and holding them to account.  He then went on to answer questions from members of the audience.

When asked about the Hillsborough Inquests costs, he said: ‘I have a legal obligation to fund the match commanders on the day of the football tragedy. The legal fees are very high and the costs fall on South Yorkshire Police unless the Home Secretary is prepared to cover some or all of them with a Special Grant.

“I applied for a grant for costs incurred so far, but the amount the Home Secretary was prepared to give fell a long way short of the full amount. However, in the last few days I have written to her again and I am hopeful she will be willing to give more.’

Dr Billings also touched on the problems of gangs in the town. He assure those in  attendance that the situation in Mexborough is well appreciated at the highest levels of the force and is being given the attention and priority it needs.

He was also asked about the 101 service. He said: ‘I know many have been frustrated by the length of time they have to wait for a response. I have just asked for a review that will look at how the 101 response times can be improved with better technology as well as other ways of being able to contact the force – such as email or social media.’