Thousands of police workers across South Yorkshire have been placed on redundancy notice as bosses battle to save £29 million over the next two years.
Around 2,000 members of staff have been offered voluntary redundancy, with police chiefs hoping it will avoid them having to wield the axe and make compulsory redundancies.
If an average civilian earns £25,000 a year, over 1,100 jobs would need to go to balance the books.
Union Unison claims that since 2011 over 400 civilian members of staff have already lost their jobs.
Police chiefs have had to review the make-up of the force over recent years because of Government funding cuts, with jobs having to take the brunt because 85 per cent of the budget goes on salaries.
Bobbies are protected from redundancy by law, but the Police Federation, which represents ranks and file officers, claims 600 posts have been lost over the last eight years.
Chief Constable David Crompton said: “Over the next two financial years, the force needs to make savings in the region of £29 million.
“The majority of these savings will need to come through reductions in the workforce.
“We feel that in these very difficult circumstances offering voluntary redundancy is the most constructive way forward for both the force and staff.
“Applications are now open to police staff from across the force and will hopefully mitigate against the need for compulsory redundancies.”
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said: “We are making savings already in every area we can, but since 85 per cent of the budget goes on salaries we are left with little alternative other than to reduce the police staff salaries bill.
“By offering voluntary redundancy to staff, some people may be encouraged to make career changes and decisions to suit their personal circumstances while enabling the force to make savings.”