Dr Alan Billings, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I firmly believe in justice, equality and accountability, therefore I stand with those who are horrified by the way George Floyd lost his life in the USA and support the peaceful protesters who only wish for their voices to be heard.
“I resolutely support the very different approach to policing in this country: the way that persuasion is used before force, and how strong the relationships are with our communities. We must work hard to maintain the fundamental principle of British Policing – policing by consent, and ensure our forces are as representative as possible of the communities they serve. We must never allow the broken relationship between the police and the public that has happened in America to happen here.
“Racism, discrimination and bias have no place in British society. However it is not enough just to say this. It must translate into action.
“On occasion policing may fall short of the public’s expectations. As Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire I work with the Force, regularly meeting with the Chief Constable and his senior staff, to ensure that on these occasions those responsible are held to account and we learn from the mistakes made in order to learn and improve.
“I set up an Independent Ethics Panel and they have been asked to monitor the use of force by South Yorkshire police to ensure that it is appropriate and proportionate and does not lose the support of any of our different communities.
“We have high standards by which we judge our police, and they judge themselves. Where they fall short of those standards, we expect them to acknowledge that and seek improvement. In this way they keep the trust and confidence of the public, which has to be the bedrock for our style of unarmed policing.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner I want to take this opportunity to say that I listen very carefully to what our different communities are saying in order to make my own conversations with the police more effective, learning and improving practice. George Floyd may have lost his life in the U.S, but his legacy has travelled across the world and we all have a responsibility to question our behaviour, and become better allies to people who have been discriminated against.”