Doncaster mayor Ros Jones and South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings must work together - The Yorkshire Post says

EFFECTIVE policing lies at the heart of every community.

Picture: Simon Hulme.

Residents have the absolute right to feel secure in their own homes, and be confident that the streets where they live are safe to walk.

So it is a matter of concern that in Doncaster, it is being claimed that there is an inconsistent and under-resourced level of policing that is failing both residents and businesses.

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That these allegations are being made by the town’s Mayor, Ros Jones, only deepens those concerns, because she speaks on behalf of residents who have drawn her attention to their worries.

Plainly, there is a problem here that needs to be sorted out.

There is also a political dimension to these concerns over policing that needs to be resolved if the people of Doncaster are to be reassured.

Ms Jones and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, are both Labour politicians who, it might be expected, would be in accord over how law and order is best delivered.

That they are not is strange, and the very public nature of Ms Jones’s complaint is indicative of a degree of tension.

That needs to be addressed, and it is welcome that a meeting has been arranged for next week.

This is not an issue about rank-and-file officers, who work hard and conscientiously, and rightly enjoy the respect and affection of the public.

It is an issue of leadership. South Yorkshire Police has faced many questions about that in recent years, including criticism of its conduct at Orgreave during the miners’ strike of the 1980s, and the long shadow cast by the Hillsborough Disaster.

The Mayor and the Crime Commissioner must put aside any differences and work together to ensure that effective leadership delivers the policing that the people of Doncaster deserve.

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