Police chiefs in South Yorkshire to spend £20,000 on uniforms for non-frontline staff

Jo Byrne
Jo Byrne
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Police chiefs are spending £20,000 on new uniforms for non-frontline members of staff.

South Yorkshire Police employees based in the Atlas Court call handing centre in Sheffield are to be kitted out with uniforms for the first time - despite never dealing with members of the public.

Jo Byrne

Jo Byrne

Staff in the centre deal with 999 calls from members of the public.

South Yorkshire Police chiefs are currently in the midst of saving £49 million in the wake of Government funding cuts, with further reductions expected over the next few years.

Around 500 employees are to be provided the new uniform - made up of trousers, tops and epaulets.

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Byrne, of South Yorkshire Police, defended the decision to spent cash on new uniforms.

“The uniforms are being provided for staff working in our contact centre, which is a critical function of policing,” she said.

“South Yorkshire Police is currently the only emergency service in the region whose contact centre staff do not wear a uniform.

“The majority of our staff requested a uniform as they regularly work alongside their uniformed colleagues including the fire and ambulance service.

“We know the force has to save significant amounts of money but it’s vital that our staff are properly equipped to work in a police environment.

“The basic uniform consists of trousers, tops and epaulets and will cost around £41 per person.”

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the Tax Payers’ Alliance, said: “Money is very tight indeed and every penny of police spending has to be directed towards the frontline and on crime prevention.

“You can understand the desire of staff to feel part of the force, but frankly taxpayers don’t care what the person who picks up their 999 call is wearing as long as they’re able to get police help to them as soon as possible.

“That means always focussing money where it is most needed.”