Hundreds of people back campaign to scrap police commissioner post and reopen axed police station in South Yorkshire

Hundreds of people are calling for the position of police and crime commissioner to be scrapped and to use the money saved to reopen a community police station.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:29 am
Dinnington man Tim Wells.

South Yorkshire Police revealed plans last year to close down and sell off Dinnington Police Station as it 'hasn't been used as such for years' and would save the force £12, 000 annually.

But now a campaign has been launched calling for South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings and his department to be axed - and to use part of the money saved to reopen the police station.

Dinnington Police Station.

An online petition posted to the website has received 770 signatures in support so far towards a target of 1000.

Dinnignton man Tim Wells, who launched the petition, said: "Having a police station will reduce the crime in the area and allow the police to be more proactive in preventing it. Since the closure of the station, crime appears to have increased."

He added "scrapping the police and crimes commissioner department and putting responsibility back into the hands of the chief constable" would enable the funds saved to pay for the running of a reopened Dinnington Police Station.

Mr Wells added Dinnington and Anston is a community of 25,000 people which should be served by 25 police officers with six on duty at any one time.

South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

Police said early last year that the station would be closed and sold off. The force added there would instead be a 'police presence' based at Dinnignton Resource Centre.

At the time of the announcement, Dr Billings said: "Dinnington Police Station hasn’t been used as such for years and it doesn’t form part of the arrangements for any modern policing in the area.

“People who call for the re-opening of cold, dark, damp police stations are simply out of touch with the current ways of preventing and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. They are choosing to heat and light empty offices rather than having boots on the ground. That would be simply inefficient and ineffective."

Once the petition reaches the 1000 target, campaigners will present it to Dr Billings and chief constable Stephen Watson in the hope of action being taken.

Dinnington Police Station.

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South Yorkshire's police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings.