People across South Yorkshire will be voting for their Police and Crime Commissioner tomorrow.
PCC elections will be held in all 41 police force areas of England and Wales. Candidates in South Yorkshire are listed in alphabetical order.
David Stewart Allen – English Democrats
After standing in the first PCC election, and South Yorkshire’s by-election, David Allen hopes it will be third time lucky.
If elected, Mr Allen said he intends to ‘hold the chief constable to account’ to ensure residents get the best force for their money.
He said he planned to restore the respect police ‘deserve for upholding the law’.
Mr Allen, who lives in Doncaster with his wife and two daughters, said: “It is imperative justice is not only done, but seen to be done for victims of crime, the perpetrators and those who have failed in the lawful and moral duty to those they serve.”
He added his strategy would be crime prevention, rather than solving, and said police budgets must ensure value for money.
Mr Allen said: “Political correctness should be removed from police work. It interferes with the law.”
Dr Alan Billings – Labour
When South Yorkshire’s first commissioner, Shaun Wright, resigned in 2014 over the Rotherham abuse scandal, Dr Alan Billings was voted to replace him.
Two years on, Dr Billings is asking people to put their trust in him once again.
At the time Dr Billings said confidence could only be rebuilt if the police ‘acknowledged past mistakes, improved their practice and brought prosecutions’.
He said: “This is now happening. The first major trials at Sheffield Crown Court in February led to five people being jailed with sentences totalling over 100 years. More trials are coming.”
If re-elected, Dr Billings said his priorities are tackling crime and anti-social behaviour, protecting the vulnerable, maintaining Police Community Support Officer numbers at the current level and replacing the 101 telephone system.
He said: “I will not over promise but, with your support, I will deliver.”
Gavin Felton – UKIP
After serving 24 years in the British Army, Gavin Felton said he was ‘horrified’ at the amount of crime on the streets. Determined not to ‘sit and watch it get worse’, Mr Felton said he intends to make South Yorkshire the ‘safest place in England’.
Mr Felton, who is married with a young son and daughter, said: “I will represent you and your family fearlessly with an independence of outlook and judgment, never giving way to vested interests.”
If elected, Mr Felton intends to: introduce a victim support group with a ring-fenced budget of £500,000; introduce monthly meetings with all political parties; put more police on the streets by ‘cutting red tape’; ‘reclaim’ communities with zero tolerance for street drinking, drug use and anti-social behaviour; protect the special needs of rural communities.
Mr Felton said: “As an elected commissioner, the buck will stop with me. I will be accountable to you.”
Joe Otten – Liberal Democrat
Currently a councillor for Dore and Totley, Joe Otten said the reputation of South Yorkshire Police has been tarnished by Hillsborough, Orgreave and the Rotherham abuse scandal.
Mr Otten said he wants to ‘rebuild our force into one we are proud of, one that is transparent and one that is accessible to residents’.
If elected, Mr Otten said he intends to protect frontline policing by integrating services.
He said: “I’ll use my experience of running a business, running campaigns, bringing communities together, and knowing at first-hand what a commissioner should be doing, to ensure that South Yorkshire Police does all it can to tackle the causes of crime across the area.
“My fight is not against the other candidates or parties – my fight is to restore trust in our police force and make our area safer for all of us.”
Ian Walker – Conservatives
Born and bred in Sheffield, Ian Walker said his main priority is to ‘rebuild trust’ in South Yorkshire Police.
Mr Walker, who is married with four children, said there was a lot of work required to make this possible.
He said: “There have been so many allegations of collusion between local councils and the police that a fresh approach, led by someone untainted by the past, is imperative.”
If elected, Mr Walker plans to put victims first, ensure cultural change, remove red tape and to ensure more resources reach the front line.
Mr Walker said: “I will do this by not shirking from asking difficult questions about issues swept under the carpet so today’s police force can start to look forward and embed lessons and cultural change required.”