More than 250 police jobs to go in South Yorkshire
More than 250 jobs are to go at South Yorkshire Police next year to help plug a Â£10.5million budget black hole, it has been revealed.
Some 55 police officers and 214 support staff roles will be cut from the force by April 2017, new projections show.
Forecasts have indicated the force needs to find £10.5m of savings to break even in the 2016/17 financial year.
It is hoped the job cuts will be achieved through retirements and people leaving voluntarily.
A report to Wednesday’s meeting of the Police and Crime Panel has said the figure comes despite a planned 3.3 per cent increase in council tax precept contributions raising £1.6m in revenue.
South Yorkshire Police Federation has warned taxpayers will face ‘paying more for a lesser service’.
South Yorkshire Police has already cut around 900 jobs since 2010 to save more than £50m from its budget.
It was hoped a surprise announcement by Chancellor George Osborne in his Autumn Statement that police funding would be frozen rather than cut further would put the force in a stronger financial position.
But Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings has said it has now become clear the police grant will be reduced by £1m and there will be no provision to cover inflation costs such as salary increases and extra demands on services.
Dr Billings said of the 55 police officer jobs to go, ‘only 16 will come from neighbourhood policing teams’.
He said this will be made up of seven officers from Sheffield, three from Rotherham, four from Doncaster and two from Barnsley. He said PCSO numbers will remain unchanged at 225.
Dr Billings said: “In his statement at the end of last year, the Chancellor said that police funding in the coming financial year would be the same as this, as long as Police and Crime Commissioners increased the precept by the maximum permitted – which for South Yorkshire is £5 per annum on a Band D property.
“However, even after this, South Yorkshire Police will need to find £10.5m of cuts or savings to balance the books.Since 90 per cent of expenditure is on salaries, this means there will be some job losses.
“The task of reducing numbers was begun in 2015 and at this stage further reductions can probably be managed through posts becoming vacant as people retire or leave the force.”
Police Federation chairman Neil Bowles said redundacnies meant more work for frontline officer.
He said: “I have asked the Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner to openly challenge the Government about how it is misleading the public – they are not protecting the police at all. The local taxpayer will be paying more for a lesser service.”