Transfer of PCC functions to South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority

Following the Mayoral election in South Yorkshire in May 2024, the functions and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner are now managed within the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, as part of their remit in overseeing effective policing and reform in South Yorkshire.

To visit the policing and reform section of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s website, click here.

Please see a final message from Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, below:

“I was first elected in 2014 as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and re-elected at each PCC election since then. But this, my tenth year in the office, will be my last. In May there will be a mayoral election and whoever becomes Mayor of South Yorkshire will take on the functions and role of PCC as well.

“The past decade has been very eventful for the police. I became PCC in the wake of the appalling child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham, when the police (and local authority) received heavy criticism for failing the girls and young women who had been abused. This was followed by the Hillsborough inquests when again the police were held responsible for the deaths of 96 (later 97) people at the football disaster in 1989. Both of these terrible occurrences have cast a long shadow over the whole of this period and we are still paying compensation for victims of both.

“Unsurprisingly, the police were not in a good place and public trust and confidence was damaged. The Inspectors said the force ‘required improvement’.

“As PCC it has been my responsibility to ensure that the police acknowledged the verdicts of what happened in the past and changed. I appointed two chief constables – Stephen Watson and then Lauren Poultney – with clear briefs about what had to be done. And there has been continuous improvement. Under Chief Constable Watson the force was graded as ‘good’. In the latest inspection the force has seen three ‘outstanding’ gradings and five ‘good’, with no ‘requires improvement’.

“In the past two years we have been able to recruit more police officers. Government funding has restored the numbers to where they were before the years of austerity after 2010. We have added some local funding to take us beyond that number.

“As PCC it has been my responsibility to ensure that the police acknowledged the verdicts of what happened in the past and changed. I appointed two chief constables – Stephen Watson and then Lauren Poultney – with clear briefs about what had to be done. And there has been continuous improvement. Under Chief Constable Watson the force was graded as ‘good’. In the latest inspection the force has seen three ‘outstanding’ gradings and five ‘good’, with no ‘requires improvement’.

“In the past two years we have been able to recruit more police officers. Government funding has restored the numbers to where they were before the years of austerity after 2010. We have added some local funding to take us beyond that number.

“So I leave the police in a very different place from where I found it in 2014.

“Throughout this same period, one of my principal concerns has been with the victims of crime. Working with the voluntary sector and other agencies, we have been able to assist many people, and I thank all those who have been involved – from independent domestic abuse advisers to the crown prosecution service. One recent meeting gave me great encouragement. I received a visit from a former victim of child sexual exploitation whom I first met on becoming PCC. The police supported her through a difficult trial, she completed her education, gained a degree and is now well established in a professional career. I wish her well and all those who have come to call themselves not simply ‘victims’ but ‘survivors’ and even ‘thrivers’.

“It has been an immense privilege to be PCC, taking me to every corner of the county and meeting so many different groups and individuals. Crime may always be with us, but we can continue to work hard to prevent it and reduce its impact on people and communities.”