PCC Responds to Rotherham Council Motion on Enforcement During the Floods

In response to the motion from the Rotherham Liberal Democrats Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, said: “In so far as this motion concerns the police, much of what it suggests is untrue and can only cause unnecessary anxiety and alarm.

“The truth could have been ascertained quite simply by asking the district commander or myself and since no attempt was made to do that the motive of those moving the motion is a mystery.

“Specifically, I understand that during the three-week period in October and early November, South Yorkshire Police issued just one enforcement in relation to use of the bus gate on Wood Lane.

“One motorist was stopped whilst going through the no entry to Wood Lane and, when stopped, admitted to other offences, including offences relating to drugs. He was issued with enforcement and dealt with separately for the other offences.

“South Yorkshire Police did assist local authority and fire colleagues managing some of the road closures and advising members of the public not to use Wood Lane, as it was being used to evacuate local residents from flooded areas. None of those stopped were given enforcement notices, they were just asked to use different routes.

“I know that the challenging circumstances faced by the local residents were foremost in the minds of officers and that extra patrols and support were put in place to ensure the safety of residents and their properties during this particularly stressful time.

“There has been no reporting of looting and the police are always aware of that possibility at a time like this.

“This motion, based on inaccuracies and untruths, is likely to have the effect of undermining people’s trust in the police and that is unforgivable. When people are faced with distressing situations like flooding they need to know that they can trust the police to help them – which they can.”