Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner met with MPs from Doncaster and Rotherham on Friday, 21 October to discuss crime issues in the area.

Accompanied by Chief Constable Stephen Watson and Chief Superintendent Scott Green, the Doncaster Commander, Dr Billings met with MPs, Rosie Winterton, Caroline Flint and Kevin Barron at College Road Police Station.

The Commissioner introduced the new Interim Chief Constable to the MPs before advising them that the review of policing that he had commissioned in May had revealed that the local policing model had led to a severe reduction in police presence in the local neighbourhoods.

Chief Constable Watson reassured the group that he was determined to restore neighbourhood policing, though this could not be a simple return to the old model since there were too few officers to do that. The only way forward was to work with other partners, such as the local authority and Fire and Rescue to tackle local problems together.

Dr Billings said: “Since the peer review, we have confirmation that the current policing model is not working as well as it should.  There has been a lack of visible policing and some loss of local intelligence.

“My meeting with the MPs has again re-iterated the need for the policing model to be quickly and thoroughly reviewed.

“It was good to meet with each of the MPs and I look forward to regular meetings with them and other partners to continue to understand the policing issues within communities.  Their concerns underlined how important it was to tackle local problems quickly before they became matters of serious crime.”