Five in search of PCC vote

FIVE candidates will battle it out for last-minute votes in the bid to win the responsibility to oversee policing in South Yorkshire.

A hustings showdown in Rotherham next Monday will pit the hopefuls against each other and invite them to outline their aims for the way the county should be policed.

But there will be no hometown candidates on show, as Rotherham does not have a representative in the race, which goes to the polls next Thursday.

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Instead, current police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings will stake his claim to retain the post for Labour, in the face of competition from UKIP, the English Democrats, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives.

Ex-soldier Gavin Felton is fighting for UKIP and Sheffield councillor Joe Otten for the Lib Dems, while Ian Walker and David Allen — who both contested the 2014 PCC election — are running for the Tories and English Democrats respectively.

Dr Billings asked the public to put their faith in him again, saying he had kept promises to include CSE victims in training and good practice, maintain neighbourhood policing and donated half his salary to victims and crime-fighting groups.

He said his aims, if elected, were to maintaining Police Community Support Officer numbers at the current level and replace the 101 contact system with “a new system which you can trust”.

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Mr Allen said he would look at the budget to ensure taxpayers’ received value for money and vowed to remove political correctness from police work, while Sheffield engineer Mr Walker pledged to rebuild trust in the police, put victims first, ensure cultural change and ask the tough questions needed to make sure lessons are learned from the past.

Mr Felton’s priorities if elected include creating a £500,000, ring-fenced victim support fund, monthly meetings with all political parties in the county, cutting red tape and devolving budgets to community groups.

Cllr Otten promised transparency, accessibility to residents and protection for frontline policing.

“Above all my fight is not against the other candidates or parties – my fight is to restore trust in our police force and make our area safer for all of us,” he said.

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Monday’s event will give the candidates the chance to outline their policy ideas before a one-hour question-and-answer session.

It is open to the public but those wanting to attend should register via


For more information and candidates’ statements, visit