South Yorkshire Police officers ‘weren’t used in best way’

Dr Alan Billings is standing for Labour in the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections
Dr Alan Billings is standing for Labour in the 2016 Police and Crime Commissioner elections
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Police officers in South Yorkshire were not used in the best way under the leadership of suspended chief constable David Crompton, the crime commissioner has said.

A new report by the College of Policing, which involved 22 senior officers from across the country speaking to South Yorkshire Police staff, has resulted in job cuts plans being halted, along with a new recruitment drive and the rollout of a new £12m IT system.The report blamed ‘inconsistent’ leadership under Mr Crompton and strongly criticised £8m cuts to neighbourhood policing teams.

Dr Billings said the report – ordered in the wake of Mr Crompton being suspended over his handling of the Hillsborough inquests – had brought a wider understanding of what had happened under the previous senior leadership team.

“It has been a frustrating 12 months for me trying to get to the bottom of these issues,” he said.

“It is quite difficult if you are a single PCC with a small office. We knew things weren’t going well. We couldn’t put our finger on quite why. That’s why we commissioned the review. The strange circumstances we found ourselves in has enabled me to commission this review.

“There is no way I could have got hold of that information without this review. I can now understand what was going wrong. The report says we have got high quality dedicated staff. They haven’t been given the strategic direction and their best efforts have not been used in the best possible way.”