Five hundred new police officers are to be recruited in South Yorkshire - but there will still be fewer bobbies on the beat than before.
The recruitment drive was announced by Humberside Police, with bosses revealing that between now and 2019, the force and South Yorkshire Police will be taking on 800 new bobbies, with 500 set for the streets of South Yorkshire.
But the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file bobbies, is warning that they are not new jobs, but replacements for the 100 bobbies a year due to retire between now and 2020.
The force currently has 2,464 full time equivalent police officers, but by 2020 bosses want to have just 2,390 on their books to help save cash.
The new recruits will replace 80 retiring bobbies a year, leaving South Yorkshire Police losing 20 every 12 months.
Police Federation chairman Neil Bowles said: “The force has to save £10.5 million over the next year and then further savings year on year, so jobs are going.
“The plan is for 20 police officer posts to go every year between now and 2020 and for the number of police staff jobs to be halved over the next four to five years.
“Around 100 officers a year will be coming up for retirement between now and 2020 following a major recruitment drive in the 1980s, so the new recruits will be replacing 80 per cent of those, leaving a shrinking workforce year on year.
“The upshot of all this is that we will not be able to provide the service that we would like.”
South Yorkshire Police has axed around 900 jobs since 2010 in order to save more than £50m because of government funding cuts.