Dr Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, was the guest speaker at the annual general meeting of Sheffield Agencies for the Vulnerable and Excluded (SAVE) at Sheffield Cathedral on Tuesday, 14 July.

He thanked SAVE for the work they do with the vulnerable and excluded. He spoke about what the police and voluntary, community and faith sector (VCF) can do together to develop shared approaches and bring about positive benefits to vulnerable people and about the changing nature of the incidents the police have to deal with.

The Commissioner said: “Eighty per cent of police work is not crime or anti-social behaviour and increasingly it is about dealing with vulnerable people – from older people with dementia who go missing to an increasing number of people with mental health issues. This requires different skills from the police and the VCF sector can help the police to understand what they are.

“The VCF can become a critical friend to the police – with an equal emphasis on ‘critical’ and ‘friend’. The police need support as they develop their skills, but they also need to be helped to see where mistakes are being made.

“The VCF can also help the police – and partner agencies – understand where any gaps in provision might be.”

Dr Billings was joined by members of SAVE and representatives from the voluntary community sector and Sheffield City Council.