Police official to travel to London to raise concerns over police budget cuts in South Yorkshire

Neil Bowles
Neil Bowles

A Police Federation official representing South Yorkshire bobbies is travelling to the House of Commons today to meet those hoping to win seats in the next General Election.

Federation chairman Neil Bowles said he wants to express his concerns for the future of policing in South Yorkshire as Government funding cuts begin to take their toll.

He said he will be urging them to demand an end to police service funding cuts if they get elected as MPs.

The meeting forms part of the Police Federation’s ‘Cuts have Consequences’ campaign, aimed at highlighting what the public of South Yorkshire can expect with fewer officers because of less cash to pay their salaries.

By 2020 police chiefs estimate there will only be 2,000 officers in South Yorkshire – 1,300 less than in 2007.

There are 2,620 in post now, 30 due to retire before the end of March and another 100 each year for the next five years.

Mr Bowles said: “The prospective parliamentary candidates need to be fully up to speed on exactly what the budget cuts mean to policing in South Yorkshire, to the frontline and to the electorate.

“The fact of the matter is that the policing service the county receives over the coming years is only going to get poorer.

“If elected the candidates need to make sure their front benches do something about it.

“Police officers can only be spread so thinly before something gives - less means less.”

He said he fears South Yorkshire Police will eventually stop dealing with certain crimes and incidents due to a lack of numbers.

“Officer numbers are dropping all the time yet month after the month the Government brings out new legislation and offences, they can only do so much,” he added.