CUTS to police officer numbers in South Yorkshire have been condemned by an MP and the county’s police and crime commissioner.
New figures reveal there are 178 fewer police officers in South Yorkshire today than three years ago.
The figures, in a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, reveal that by March 2015 South Yorkshire Police will have lost 436 officers.
And the force will have lost 793 civilian posts between March 2010 and March 2015.
Michael Dugher, Labour MP for Barnsley East, said: “It is worrying we now have 178 fewer police officers in South Yorkshire due to the Government’s cuts to policing.
“This Government’s reduction in frontline police puts our communities at risk with fewer frontline officers, fewer officers responding to 999 calls and less visible police.
“This is making it harder for the police to catch criminals and deliver justice.
“More than 3,700 fewer crimes in South Yorkshire were solved under this Government in the last year alone.
“Of course, the police have to make their share of efficiencies, but I support a more proportionate cuts plan of 12 per cent, rather than 20 per cent, which has been shown by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate to be deliverable without impacting on frontline services.
“There is no need for the Government to be cutting so far and so fast and I share the concerns of police officers in Barnsley that the scale of the cuts is affecting policing across South Yorkshire and undermining the progress made tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the region.
“I know the chief constable and police teams across South Yorkshire are trying their hardest to deal with challenging crime issues, but this Government is making it more difficult.
Shaun Wright, county police and crime commissioner said: “The crime figures for the county may be continuing on an encouraging downward trend, but one of my key priorities is police visibility in the community must remain high.
“I am conscious of any reductions as a result of the Government’s comprehensive spending review budget cuts. However, I am doing my utmost to minimise reductions to the force.
“All public sector organisations have been hit by Government spending review cuts, and I have stated on many occasions I am not happy with, nor will I accept the ‘do more with less’ approach the Government expects us to take with regards to policing.”
Police force in numbers:
Number of police officers South Yorkshire has lost in three years - 176
Number of police officers South Yorkshire will have lost by 2015 - 436
Number of civilian jobs lost between March 2010 and March 2015 - 793
Fewer crimes detected by South Yorkshire Police under current government - 3,700
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