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Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones blames 'Tory austerity' as council pays South Yorkshire Police for town centre patrols 

Police patrolling Doncaster town centre. Picture: George Torr
Police patrolling Doncaster town centre. Picture: George Torr

Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones has blamed Tory austerity on the council paying for extra police officers to patrol the town centre.

She added the money paid to South Yorkshire Police has come from the council’s reserves. The mayor didn’t reveal how much this has cost.

Addressing a meeting of the full council, the mayor said it was a ‘sorry state of society’ they had to do this and is said through Government cuts, South Yorkshire Police had lost 1,000 officers since 2010.

Resident Rachael Peace asked the mayor where the money had come from to fund the trial which is due to run until December.

Council bosses announced the scheme earlier this month under growing pressure to act following a grassroots campaign to tackle street begging, drug abuse and anti-social behaviour which some claimed were turning shoppers away from Doncaster.

South Yorkshire Police said resources would be met through a mixture of overtime and the use of trainee officers but added no units would be pulled from neighbourhood teams from outlying borough villages and towns.

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones made the comment at a meeting of the full council on September 20. Picture: Dean Atkins

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones made the comment at a meeting of the full council on September 20. Picture: Dean Atkins

Mayor Jones said the funding and trial would be under ‘constant review’ and any plans to continue the scheme would be accommodated through thec council’s medium financial plan.

She said: “The additional costs is being met from one off council reserves - over the next three months we will be evaluating the impact and determine the approach to dealing with the presenting issues on our future course of action.

“The associated costs and funding source will be considered at this point. In terms of timing, this fits with in with a refresh of council’s budgets prior to the formal budget decision being taken in early 2019.

“It is a sorry state of society when the council is paying to police our streets. This is a sad result of Conservative austerity.

“South Yorkshire Police has lost nearly 1,000 police officers since 2010 meaning there are 20 per cent fewer police officers on our streets and that as why we as a council has had to act and fund extra police officers to ensure there is sufficient police presence for Doncaster town centre.”