Time to review policing cuts

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AS the public bickering rages over who can claim credit for bringing last week’s riots under control, the important issue of how well equipped our police force is to deal with such outbreaks of violence needs to be addressed.

Yesterday, the organisation representing rank and file officers, the Police Federation, claimed that the scale of Government cuts to funding will mean that we will lose the equivalent of all the officers working in Rotherham and Doncaster by 2014.

Home Office Minister Theresa May has ruled out any review of policing numbers in the aftermath of the riots.

We can only read into that statement that she is happy there are enough resources to cope in the future.

If that is the case, why did officers from our force have to go to Manchester and Birmingham to help with policing?

Thankfully, Sheffield escaped the rioting and looting - a huge tribute to this city - but should we find ourselves caught up in anything similar in the future, would we be equipped to deal with it?

The answer would almost definitely be no today and certainly no in the future.

We are witnessing a knee-jerk reaction to the riots from the Government, claiming zero tolerance measures need to be introduced.

What the Government needs to do is to launch an inquiry into policing levels in the future and question whether our forces are making the right cuts to meet tough budget targets.

Cuts will have to be made, but chief constables and police authorities need to be challenged on the decisions they are making to reassure us that we have enough manpower on the streets to deal with a zero tolerance approach and the possibility of widescale civil unrest.

Community turns out for Daniel

AND while major cities are coming to terms with the devastation of the riots, we are pleased to highlight a fantastic community event that makes this region such a great place.

Around 80 people took part in a memorial walk to mark the anniversary of the death of teenager Daniel Antcliffe.

Daniel died at the age of 16 from sudden arrythmic syndrome - an undiagnosed heart condition - two years ago.

The annual sponsored walk raised £3,000 and provided an opportunity for the community to rally round and remember Daniel. It was no doubt an emotional event but one that raised money for the community.

Proud to have you

CONGRATULATIONS to Howard Webb and former headteacher Mo Laycock who have been chosen for honorary degrees at Hallam University. We are proud to see your achievements recognised