South Yorkshire police must axe another 400 jobs

02/05/2010 Ross Parry Agency. The scene in Winn Gardens, Sheffield when as shocked residents looked on, the peace of the bank holiday weekend was shattered when armed police swooped and laid siege to one of the houses.
02/05/2010 Ross Parry Agency. The scene in Winn Gardens, Sheffield when as shocked residents looked on, the peace of the bank holiday weekend was shattered when armed police swooped and laid siege to one of the houses.
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SOUTH Yorkshire Police will have cut 1,010 jobs by 2015 to meet the Government’s £43 million budget squeeze, a new inspection report has revealed.

The force has already axed 600 police officers and civilian staff since March 2010 - but has another 400 jobs to shed, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found.

Some 13 police station front counters will also have been closed.

The county’s police bosses have been praised for ‘making good progress’ for planning its budget cuts, after already saving £15m of the total £43m it needs to cut.

But the report - entitled ‘Policing in Austerity: One Year On’ - found South Yorkshire Police is employing a smaller proportion of staff in frontline jobs than other forces.

Some 330 of the jobs to be cut by the next General Election will be police officer posts, a reduction of 11 per cent, with 700 civilian positions - 29 per cent - also earmarked for the axe.

The cuts will bring the South Yorkshire Police frontline workforce down by 360 - 180 of them officers.

In 2010 the force employed 63 per cent of its workforce on the front line, lower than the national average of 67 per cent.

Despite reductions to frontline forces, the backroom cuts are even more severe, meaning by 2015 the proportion of South Yorkshire’s frontline staff will have gone up slightly to 69 per cent, although it will still be lower than the projected national average of 74 per cent.

HM Inspector of Constabulary for the northern region Roger Baker said: “South Yorkshire Police has put in place a comprehensive change programme to manage the reductions in its budget.

“As a result they are in a good position to achieve their savings target by March 2015.

“The force plans to increase the proportion of its police officers dedicated to frontline policing and it should continue to focus on this as its plans develop.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “The overall reduction in staffing for the period up to 2015 is slightly higher than the national average and this reflects the higher savings required by the Government from forces such as South Yorkshire Police because of the way we are funded.

“The force is currently increasing its strength by 110 new police officer recruits not reflected in HMIC’s figures plus another 22 PCSOs and this is clear evidence the force continues to make frontline capability a priority.

“We are also planning significant increases in the number of our special constables to bolster operational capacity.

“Despite the effect of budget cuts, fewer total staff and fewer frontline police officers, crime continues to show a healthy decline and is currently 11 per cent lower than it was at this time last year and overall is down by 31 per cent in the last five years.”