WOULD you pay an extra penny a day to keep police officers on the beat?
Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, says an extra 1p a day from South Yorkshire residents will generate enough cash for him to replace 60 aging police officers set to retire from the force this year, in a bid to preserve frontline bobbies.
His problem is that a blanket 20 per cent cut in police funding has left South Yorkshire Police needing to save £43 million between 2011 and 2015, with 80 per cent of its funding coming from central government.
PCC Wright says his force has lost 215 officers since 2010 but he is committed to maintaining numbers.
So will we help him by paying an extra £3.56 a year?
Some might say we already pay enough and it is up to Mr Wright to manage his budget?
Other may feel we are being harshly dealt with by government cuts which tend to favour the affluent south.
There is merit in both arguments, but on balance we feel paying an extra penny a day is worth it if it means bobbies on the beat.
Mr Wright will find out soon enough if others agree and credit to him for being open about his intentions.
We must invest in training youth
COMPANIES have been concerned for a long time about young people leaving school unprepared for the world of work.
In the Sheffield City Region, something is being done about that thanks to a series of initiatives involving the Cutlers’ Company, the Workwise projects and the University Technical College, which opens later this year.
However, young people will continue to fall through the gaps. The Government appears to be responding with its new traineeships, but there are concerns that this latest initiative is more about appearing to do something than providing the level of resources necessary to tackle the problem.
Many young people who are not in some form of education, training or employment have underlying problems that need to be sorted before they will stand a chance of securing and staying in a job.
What’s more, if they have emerged from school with inadequate English and mathematical skills, a few months training isn’t going to solve anything.
A quick fix, based on strategies that haven’t worked in the past isn’t the answer. If Britain is serious about tackling the problem of the young and disaffected it needs serious research and serious investment.