We need an explanation

Stephen Watson
Stephen Watson
Have your say

I am pleased to see that the new Chief Constable Stephen Watson is planning to reverse the disastrous cuts to neighbourhood policing budgets.

This is a subject I raised with the police commissioner Alan Billings at the Police and Crime Panel meeting on March 4 this year.

An effective presence in the neighbourhood can prevent criminal and anti-social behaviour problems getting out of hand, and gives the police good local intelligence.

It was shortsighted to sacrifice this.

I hope that this will be one of the first of many positive changes for South Yorkshire Police now that David Crompton is no longer at the helm.

However, Mr Crompton is still suspended on full pay – for almost three months now.

The interim acting Chief Constable Dave Jones has, presumably, needed paying off.

So we appear to be paying two or even three Chief Constable salaries and have appointed Mr Crompton’s replacement without completing the due process for his dismissal.

Alan Billings needs to explain how he got into such a mess, and why he did not do more at the time to defend vital neighbourhood policing.

Cllr Joe Otten

Lib Dem candidate for Police Commissioner 2016 and member of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel