PROPOSED government cuts to the police budget are an “irresponsible gamble with public safety” according to the Vice Chairman of South Yorkshire Police Authority.
Councillor Shaun Wright, who is also a magistrate, has written to the Home Secretary to inform her of his “disgust” at proposals to cut 16,000 police posts nationally.
The councillor says a further 16,000 police support staff are to be lost, In addition Neighbourhood Policing is being hit with the loss of 1,800 PCSOs, despite promises from the Government that this funding was ring fenced.
Coun Wright says this will equate to a total of 436 police officers and 793 police support staff workers being axed from the South Yorkshire force.
Coun Wright added: “When I became Vice Chairman of South Yorkshire Police back in June I made a commitment that I would speak out against anything that jeopardised the excellent policing and safety record across our region.
“These figures will rightly shock people in our area.
“No one wants to see fewer police officers on our streets, or fewer police officers working to solve serious crimes.
“The Government is taking an irresponsible gamble with policing and public safety in South Yorkshire and I have written to Home Secretary Theresa May MP to show my disgust.
“Crime across South Yorkshire has fallen by 40 per cent in the last decade, thanks in no small part to the record numbers of police officers recruited during that period.
“The Government should reopen the review into police spending urgently.”
Coun Wright’s letter follows a warning from the South Yorkshire Police Federation.
The Federation is asking all local MPS to lobby the Home Secretary to think again about the proposed cuts which they believe could lead to an increase in crime.