Five hundred new police officers are to be recruited in South Yorkshire it has been announced - but only to replace those leaving the force.
Humberside Police chiefs have revealed that 800 bobbies are to be recruited by the end of 2019, with 500 set for the streets of South Yorkshire and 300 to work for the Humberside force.
But the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file bobbies, is warning that they are not new jobs, but replacements for the 100 bobbies a year up for retirement between now and 2020.
The force currently has 2,464 full time equivalent police officers, but by 2020 bosses want to have just 2,390 on the books.
Between now and 2020 around 100 police officers are due to retire after clocking up 30 years’ service, following a huge recruitment drive in the 1980s.
The new recruits will replace 80 retiring bobbies a year - meaning the force will lose 20 every 12 months.
The first wave of recruitment for 100 new officers in Humberside will begin next month, with candidates being given a three day period in which to register their interest.
Humberside Chief Constable Justine Curran said: “Policing is a great career choice and this is a real opportunity to work with us to reduce crime, take criminals off our streets and support our communities.
“Police officers come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience and that is what makes us a strong team. We particularly welcome applications from groups that are currently under-represented in the police service.
“It’s been a while since we recruited new officers and the vacancies we have, and expect to have, are a result of natural turnover and officers coming to the end of their service.
“This is a good time to join us, policing is changing at a fast pace with officers now able to spend more time out and about, using mobile technology to keep updated.
“Crime is also changing with the new challenges around cyber crime and fraud. However, what makes a good officer remains the same, people who think on their feet, take control, can make decisions and are able to communicate easily with everyone they come into contact with.”