Budget criticised by South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner

Dr Alan Billings
Dr Alan Billings
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South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has criticised yesterday’s budget as doing ‘little for the police’.      

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £160 million for counter terrorism policing but failed to increase the overall budget for the police service.

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Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The Chancellor’s budget does little for the police. There is extra money for counter terrorism but not regular policing, which the government knows is very stretched.

“This is the time of year when budgets for the next financial year have to be prepared. This means that some very stark choices will be facing us as we try to balance the books.

“I am asking the chief constable to look at every penny of spending to ensure that it is well used, but it is not going to be an easy time.”

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He said he plans to ask the Home Office for financial help to cover the costs incurred by South Yorkshire Police over the Hillsborough disaster and following the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham.

The force has spent millions on legal fees over the years in the wake of the crush at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium at Hillsborough in 1989, which resulted in the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

Probes into historic and current cases of child sexual exploitation are also hitting the force’s coffers after South Yorkshire Police was criticised in a damning report for a lack of action into allegations of child sex abuse involving men of predominantly Pakistani heritage between 1997 and 2013.

Dr Billings said: “South Yorkshire council taxpayers continue to have to pay for the consequences of past wrongs at Hillsborough and in relation to child sexual exploitation.

“I shall be asking the Home Secretary for help with these costs since they have the potential to bend South Yorkshire finances out of shape.”