Police and Crime Commissioner calls for extra officers and body cameras for bobbies in South Yorkshire

Dr Alan Billings
Dr Alan Billings

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is calling for officers and more body worn cameras for frontline bobbies. 

Dr Alan Billings revealed he is in discussions with South Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable, Stephen Watson, over ways of boosting officer numbers following a rise in crime.

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He said he is also talking to the police chief about ways of paying for more body worn cameras for officers on the frontline.

He spoke out after it emerged that officers are being sent to some incidents ‘single crewed’ when they would traditionally be sent with a colleague for back up.

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The Sheffield North East neighbourhood policing team revealed yesterday that officers had been sent to domestic incidents alone on Halloween because of being short staffed during a period if high demand.

In one of the incidents an officer was assaulted.

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Dr Billings said: “Every day police officers potentially put themselves in harm’s way and anything we can do to minimise this must be done. I take very seriously the welfare of police officers.

“This is why I support, for example, the introduction of body worn cameras.

“We know this has an effect on people’s behaviour towards officers. I am talking to the Chief Constable at the present time about how we pay for more officers to be equipped with them in the next financial year.”

He added: “The reduction in police officer numbers is well understood by the public but if we are to see more money made available by the government for an increase, we need the public to get behind the police in the same way that do with the NHS.

“I am currently looking with the Chief Constable at how we might increase numbers in South Yorkshire, even modestly, given the rise in some crimes, but finding extra resources is not easy.”