SOUTH Yorkshire bobbies are urging the public to stage demonstrations and lobby their MPs to fight Government funding cuts they fear will lead to a huge increase in crime.
The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers across the county, issued its plea to coincide with the organisation’s annual conference this week.
During the conference bobbies plan to voice their concerns over public sector spending cuts which will see police force budgets slashed by 20 per cent over the next four years.
South Yorkshire Police is set to lose £43 million and the county’s highest ranking officer - Chief Constable Med Hughes - has already predicted a rise in crime as his police force shrinks, unemployment soars, councils slash services and courts allow repeat offenders to remain on the streets.
Now the Police Federation has issued a heartfelt plea to communities to stand up and be counted.
Chairman Bob Pitt said: “If people feel as strongly as us officers do about these cuts they need to go and see their MPs, they need to stage demonstrations, they need to do all they can to make their voices heard.
“It is their communities that will feel the effects of these cuts if police officers numbers drop and we can’t respond to the types of offences we currently turn out too.”
“If, like us, people think it is absolutely wrong what is happening then they need to make a stand.”
He spoke out after a new police survey revealed South Yorkshire officers fear Government cuts combined with fewer police officers on the streets will have a detrimental effect on crime levels and the service the public receive.
Of the those who took part, 99 per cent said morale had fallen because of planned police budget cuts.
And 88 per cent of police officers believe cutting police officer numbers in South Yorkshire will have a detrimental effect on crime levels. A total of 84 per cent say they believe their workload has increased or will increase in the future.
Inspector Pitt added: “The message from police officers in South Yorkshire is loud and clear.
“They feel they are being hit from all sides by this Government who, in addition to attacking their terms and conditions, are imposing a 20 per cent cut on the service which will undoubtedly lead to increased levels of crime and a poorer service for the public in South Yorkshire.
“It is why it is imperative that those who live and work in South Yorkshire make clear to our local politicians that a cut of this magnitude to the police budget needs to be urgently reconsidered by national government before it is too late and we all suffer the unintended consequences of their actions.”