Covid crisis costs South Yorkshire Police £2 million so far

The Covid crisis has cost South Yorkshire Police £2 million so far.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 11:07 am

Debbie Carrington, South Yorkshire Police’s head of finance, has revealed that £3.9 million worth of Covid costs have been incurred by the force so far, with £1.9 million recovered from central funds.

She has warned that the ‘force will continue to incur costs’ and that Covid continues to pose a ‘financial pressure’.

Key costs incurred so far include £1.3 million on overtime and £836,000 on other staffing costs, £1.1 million on personal protective equipment and £337,00 on specialist cleaning.

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Covid has cost South Yorkshire Police £3.9 million so far

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, who oversees the funding of the county’s police force, said: “The past year has been unprecedented and when plans were made for budgets no one could have predicted the extra costs that would be incurred as a result of the pandemic.

“Some of this extra spend –such as PPE - has been reimbursed to South Yorkshire Police by the Home Office, though not all.

“In addition we have lost £252,000 of income from such areas as speeding fines.

“We recognise however that policing is far from the only organisation to be hit financially and we have to work hard to try to contain at least some of the additional spending within agreed budgets.

“But if we cannot find in-year savings this will eventually impact on the reserves.

“The extra overtime in part relates to the need to ask officers to cover for colleagues who are either ill from the virus or are having to self-isolate.

“This is one of the reasons why I have asked the policing minister to press for police officers and other emergency workers to be considered as priority workers when it comes to extending vaccinations.”

Steve Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “It is the view of the South Yorkshire Police Federation that the costs associated with Covid to the force should be funded centrally and not affect South Yorkshire Police budgets for normal policing business, which I keep pointing out does not stop during these times.

“The Government rightly has protected budgets and in some cases increased budgets for the NHS, it also needs to commit to protecting police budgets during this pandemic.