Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The PM did not give backing to Mr Stafford as he claims. The Prime Minister was asked to get me to re-open the police station at Dinnington, but wisely ducked the question, otherwise he would have said something foolish.
“If Mr Stafford had spoken to either me or to South Yorkshire Police he would have known that the police station closed as an enquiry desk twenty years ago and the building ceased to be used in 2016 and was sold in 2020.
“The money from its sale (£155,000) and the money we save each year because it no longer has to be maintained (£13,999) will contribute towards getting more officers into the neighbourhood team in Dinnington and other parts of the Rotherham district.
“Mr Stafford also glosses over the fact that for ten years since 2010 his Conservative government cut police numbers year on year – by 20,000 nationally and 500 in South Yorkshire. This allowed criminal gangs to get established – though one Conservative Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said there was no relationship between police numbers and crime.
“This was wrong and put public safety at risk, so two years ago I decided that enough was enough and we stopped the cuts in numbers. Using local resources we increased officer numbers in South Yorkshire by 50. I will be doing the same this year – a further 73.
“The local neighbourhood policing team are active within Dinnington and the dedicated police officer and PCSO are regularly out on patrol and work closely with the public and partner organisations to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the area. Until Covid they had a regular presence within the Resource Centre where residents were able to drop in a raise issues. They are also supported by response officers and other specialist police services such as roads policing and specialist operations.
“I hope to meet with the town council again shortly to discuss how we can do more to help the town in the coming months.
“I am always willing to work with others to get tough on crime and ASB, but co-operation is two way and I do need MPs to check their facts before they open their mouths.”