Police Federation warns that 'thin blue line' has been stretched to 'dangerous level in South Yorkshire

The Police Federation has warned that the ‘thin blue line’ has been stretched to a ‘dangerous level’ in South Yorkshire because of years of cuts.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 14:02 pm
PC Libby Betney and PC Charlotte Hill on patrol in Sheffield. Picture: Chris Etchells

Steve Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, spoke out on the day a national recruitment drive for 20,000 extra officers over the next three years was launched.

The first wave of bobbies – a group of 6,000 – are to be recruited in the first year.

Sgt Steve Kent

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Sergeant Kent, who represents rank and file officers, said additional officers are needed in South Yorkshire to help frontline officers and detectives, who he said are ‘stretched to the absolute limit’.

“We as the Police Federation welcome the news of the start of the national recruitment drive,” he said.

“This is the first step by the Government towards repairing the damage caused to our force by nearly a decade of cuts which has left the good people of South Yorkshire with a much smaller police force than what it was.

“The thin blue line has been taken to a dangerous level, meaning the uniformed officers on the front line and the detectives dealing with complex investigations are stretched to the absolute limit.”

He added: “The extra officers promised by central government coupled with the extra officers already planned by our current Chief will make a huge difference.

“However, they will take time to recruit, train and get out to the stations throughout our region, so I would urge a bit of patience for the officers out there who, in the meantime, are working at 150 per cent to keep South Yorkshire a safe place.”