Sheffield police jobs at risk over £15m cuts

New  South Yorkshire Police Chief  Constable David Crompton
New South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton
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POLICE chiefs have warned of more job losses and cuts to services as the force battles to save another £15 million over the next two years.

Bosses have saved £30 million since 2011 but need to cut costs by another £15 million before the end of March 2015 - after the Government announced unprecedented police budget cuts.

Chief Constable David Crompton said on top of the £15 million he has to save, he fears even more budget cuts could be forced on the police service.

“Recent announcements in the budget lead us to believe that further savings might need to be made on top of the £45 million we are already working towards,” he said.

“We are now having to turn our minds to how we can achieve that while preserving as much service to the public as we possibly can - it’s going to be really difficult.

“We have not made any specific decisions yet to completely stop things but some may be done to a lower standard or less often or by less people in order to save money.”

He said the force needed to sell more buildings to reduce overheads, and that overtime would be cut and jobs will go.

South Yorkshire Police has already axed 600 jobs since 2010 but Chief Constable Crompton said he was gearing up to shed more.

“We will be selling off more buildings, we will be cutting overtime and will be looking to reduce the number of supervisors in the force,” he added.

Chief Constable Crompton said he is also considering merging more units.

“We will be amalgamating different units so we have fewer overheads such as admin costs.

“We will also be looking at a greater use of technology.

“It’s about doing what we are doing now and pushing it a little bit further.

“The challenge is to find new ways of working that despite budget cuts mean we are still able to stay on top of crime. 
“We are managing that and exploring ways we can use our resources differently.”

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, said: “There is no doubt the Chief Constable is right to be thinking about the impact further Government funding cuts will have over the next few years, we have discussed these at length.

“The mention of £15 million shouldn’t be viewed as a definitive figure, it may be more, but the pressure on resources will certainly continue to be substantial.

“I will continue to work very closely with the Chief Constable to identify areas of spending which we can reduce with the minimum possible impact on front line policing and public confidence.

“I believe the Government is taking an irresponsible gamble with public safety by imposing further cuts.”

Sheffield MP and former Home Secretary David Blunkett said: “ I regret that this latest blow comes as no surprise. I just wish Theresa May, the Home Secretary, would understand the enormity of what is being asked of the Police Service and the impact this will have.

“At this moment in time, the last thing we need is further draconian cuts in the police budget, and with a spending review for 2015 onwards around the corner in June, things look more desperate.”