MP voices alarm over police cuts

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AN MP has raised alarm at the depth of anger among police officers, over proposed cuts to their services.

A Police Federation study found that 93 per cent of police officers in South Yorkshire fear their service will suffer from impending budget cuts.

This followed news that Government funding for South Yorkshire Police will be slashed by £33.6m in real terms over the next two years alone – a loss of 414 police officers and 680 police staff.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher spoke out, after hearing that 98.4 per cent of police officers feel morale has fallen while 83.6 per cent agree their workload has increased.

Mr Dugher said: “This undoubtedly raises the disturbing spectre of a demoralised, over-stretched South Yorkshire Police Force being asked to cope with the ever increasing demands of community policing”.

His raised concern follows community tension in Wombwell town centre, where drunks and druggies have plagued shoppers in recent weeks, and the news that Wombwell police station is one of many set to lose their front desk facility as a public contact point.

The MP said: “This survey highlights the anger police officers are feeling across South Yorkshire.

“The Government should listen to the police officers serving our community who feel that policing will be dramatically affected if they continue to press ahead with their drastic cuts.

“I am very concerned that these cuts will undermine all the progress that has been made tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire.”

“The news that Wombwell police station’s front desk could be forced to close due to the cuts is very worrying.

“Police stations need to be accessible and people want to see more of their police officers and have face-to-face contact.

“I will be contacting South Yorkshire Police to express my concerns.”