Over 150 South Yorkshire police officers apply for redundancy

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Over 150 police officers have applied to leave South Yorkshire Police as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme.

Bosses recently offered officers the chance to leave the force and 154 applied for voluntary redundancy before the window closed.

The idea behind the redundancy programme is to cut costs by allowing older officers on higher wages to leave the force, providing an opportunity for new bobbies on lower salaries to join.

South Yorkshire Police is set to lose £2.5 million in government funding over the next year.

Losing officers at the top of their pay grade and replacing them with new recruits saves £100,000 per officer over six years.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: "The scheme is now closed for new applications but from this recent round we had 154 applications.

"At this time there is no open voluntary redundancy programme underway for police staff."

Zuleika Payne, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said: “When it comes to voluntary severance for police officers, as a staff association we are only too aware of the impact that this will have on both the organisation and the local communities within the county.

"While a severance scheme may serve to achieve what is required of the service in a fiscal sense, ultimately South Yorkshire Police stand to lose vast swathes of experience and expertise from the organisation.

"Corporately this is also seen as a means of ‘refreshing’ the organisation as the service continues to employ new police officer recruits into the organisation.

"There is certainly an appetite amongst officers to apply for voluntary severance as it provides an opportunity to exit the organisation in pursuit of another career path. There may be those officers who are not well enough to complete their service and who do not meet the threshold for an ill health retirement.

"In these circumstances it may be the most appropriate way to leave the organisation.

"The fall in officer numbers has meant fewer officers absorbing more and more work, to the point that officers are completely exhausted and burnt out. Coupled with the risks associated with being a police officer, one can fully understand why individuals wish to leave.”

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