Newly announced candidate for South Yorkshire Police Commissioner, Canon Dr Alan Billings has pledged to put tackling child sexual grooming top of his priorities.
The retired Anglican priest and Barnsley teacher was until recently a board member of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, which oversees the work of the criminal justice system for the under 18s.
As someone with vast experience in helping victims but with no previous association with South Yorkshire Police, Alan can offer a fresh start for people in South Yorkshire as the task of rebuilding trust in local policing begins.
Dr Alan Billings says:
“My first priority will be tackling child sexual exploitation in Rotherham head on – rooting out child sex offenders and making sure they’re prosecuted so victims finally get justice. Rotherham’s children were so badly let down by the police, the authorities, those in positions of responsibility. There can be no excuse – I say never again.
“We must implement big improvements in how child sexual exploitation is dealt with, vastly improving police officers’ understanding of these crimes and how to deal with young people at risk, and providing proper support to victims.
“As someone who has no previous connection with South Yorkshire Police I think I will be the right person to hold them to account on behalf of South Yorkshire people.”
Alan Billings’ priorities as PCC for South Yorkshire:
- Rooting out child sex offenders, making sure they are prosecuted, giving victims the support they need and ensuring they finally get justice
- Bring back Neighbourhood Policing so we have high-visibility police on our streets and in our communities
- Rebuilding public trust in their police by ensuring victims of Hillsborough and Orgreave get justice
- Cracking down on anti-social behaviour with tougher penalties for those who don’t change their behaviour
About Canon Dr Alan Billings:
- Alan is a regular contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme
- Served for decades as a parish priest
- Lives in Sheffield
- Has advised governments on strengthening our communities and community cohesion
- Sat on national Youth Justice Board which oversees justice for under 18’s
- Until this year sat on Big Lottery Fund board, allocating £650m funding to good causes improving people’s lives