Opinion: Think local after cuts

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South Yorkshire Police are heading into uncharted territory with regards to cuts that need to be made to their budget.

Savings of £49 million by the end of 2016 – £32m has already been found – means that many ‘back-office’ functions and frontline services are being merged with neighbouring forces.

Only neighbourhood teams are being protected from the axe.

While the picture painted by South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, is a gloomy one others have said that there would no longer be the need for as many senior officers, which could free up money to pay for more on the frontline.

Whichever way you look at it, it is clear the police will need the public’s help. It is good that neighbourhood teams are being protected. For most people seeing police out and about in their community is the most important thing.

The police and the public should work hand in hand. No-one enjoys anti-social behaviour. Everyone wants to feel safe on the streets and in their homes.

As the police look to do more with less these goals should be at the forefront of their thinking. Getting it right locally is key to the new era of policing.

* Read more: Special report, South Yorkshire Police force merger plan