Fears that specials could replace regulars

Police Fedeartion chairman Neil Bowles, who is based at Maltby Police Station.

Police Fedeartion chairman Neil Bowles, who is based at Maltby Police Station.

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The Police Federation in South Yorkshire has raised concerns over the increased use of Special Constables in the county.

Earlier this week police chiefs revealed they had taken on more Specials over a 12 month period than any other force in England in a bid to increase visibility on the streets.

The force hopes to have 500 in place by April.

But Neil Bowles, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said Specials should not ‘replace’ regular officers.

“We have lost over 500 Officers in recent times, and we are set to lose another 300 by 2018, down to just 2,400,” he said.

“We welcome all the help we can get, but when you start to rely on volunteers to provide a basic service something drastic has gone wrong.

“As a staff association we want to see more officers employed to keep the public safe.

“Well trained and well motivated officers will provide the service that we all want to provide, but cannot achieve at this time.”