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South Yorkshire Police faces 1,500 staff cuts

By DPF Admin14th August 2015August 6th, 2019Area Updates, Latest News, Northern Updates, Southern Updates

More than 1,500 South Yorkshire Police roles could be cut over the next five years, the BBC has learned.

Five hundred officers, 1,000 support staff and 150 Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) positions may go.

The force said its required savings of £59m by 2020 “will only be achieved by reducing officer and staff numbers”.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings described the potential 1,500 job losses as the “worst case scenario”.

He said no decisions had been made on which areas of force operations would be cut and he wanted a public discussion on how South Yorkshire Police could make savings with new ways of working.

“There may be better ways of doing things that are more cost efficient,” he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

“At the end of the day, there will be an impact on numbers – there is no question of that.”

'More pronounced'

Neil Bowles, of the front-line officers' union the Police Federation, said cuts had become “more pronounced”.

“There was a Comprehensive Spending Review by the government last autumn which came up with the next set of cuts,” he said.

“In 2007, we had over 3,300 police officers and 2,500 members of police staff which included the PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers).

“If you cut the police force again to about 2,000 officers, that's a cut of a third. How can we carry on doing the same work we were doing in 2007, let along meet the new and increased demand that is out there?”

Mr Bowles said the consequences of the budget cuts would be “less officers on the streets, more instances of officers in cars and less neighbourhood officers”.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Holt said: “We are working hard to minimise the impact of this decrease, but with around 90% of the force's budget spent on salaries, we have to review our staffing levels to make such extensive savings.”

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