I recently attended a public meeting by Alan Billings the Police and crime commissioner (P.C.C) in Dinnington, following the murder. I thought he did nothing but waffle and fob us off. I decided to write to him and suggest a way that he could distribute the South Yorkshire police officers to better fight crime, at the same time I asked him for the costs of running his department. He has answered the costs of running his department in a roundabout way, but not the letter I actually sent to him.
O.P.C.C. operating costs South Yorkshire
I wanted to know the cost of staff, office costs and expenses. This document is like war and peace.
Total financing for Alan Billings department was £240,128 in 2015-2016. I am going to assume this is the figure I requested above. I was told they couldn’t give me the total wages, due to privacy of the people working in the department and the small size of the department. Personally, I think we had a right to know the wages of the department through freedom of information, bearing in mind it is public money.
A quarter of a million pounds is a sizeable chunk of money, for a department which I believe adds confusion and damages policing.
I believe that the O.P.C.C department further politicises the police and should be removed and the Chief constable takes back responsibilities for policing decisions.
Dinnington police station
We were told that Dinnington police station was closed down because it was costing us £15K a year, which was better spent on a police officer. £15K a year wouldn’t even pay for a PCSO.
However, when you consider the costs of £240K a year to run the O.P.C.C., that money would be better spent on allowing a number of police stations to be re-opened in the community. The public need to have a point of safety to go to in danger and for it to also be a visible deterrent in our communities.
South Yorkshire police officers
We are told that South Yorkshire police are short of officers. But from my calculations of the Dinnington and Anston area, versus SY police numbers and the population of South Yorkshire as a whole. Our fair share as a ration would amount to 50 officers and civilian staff. Let’s put 50% of officers into a South Yorkshire central pool for specialised duties, that still leaves 25 police officers based here. 6 police officers would be on duty at any one time, 24/7. We are lucky to have two PCSO’s based in Dinnington, which means that one covers the morning shift, one the afternoon and 0 for nights.
The police need to start being proactive and being a deterrent, rather than reacting to crime after the event.