South Yorkshire Police facing £40m cut

Wednesday, 08 December, 2010

South Yorkshire Police Authority is faced with making cuts of well over £40m in its annual budget over the next four years.

The Authority has been working with the Chief Constable for the last 12 months on laying the foundations for managing the pending cuts.

When the Government makes its final announcement in the next few days, it is expected that cuts of up to £15m will be required in next year's South Yorkshire budget.

Members of the Authority recognise that the demands for Policing will not reduce - indeed they could increase over the next few years as other local services are cut back. The service cannot rely on other agencies to step in to plug any gaps because they will be facing similar cuts in their resources.

Charles Perryman, chair of South Yorkshire Police Authority, said: "The Force has made impressive progress in the last few years on cutting crime and increasing public confidence. We don't want to lose that momentum if we can avoid it.

"We know that the money will reduce, and the challenge for the Authority and the Force will be to get the most out of every pound.

"We will be asking the Chief Constable to concentrate his resources on maintaining safer communities, and we will be supporting him in looking at new ways of working with partners to protect services.

"While we will be setting targets for cost reduction and improvement in productivity, we recognise that at some point over the next few years, it may be necessary to review the range and the level of services that are affordable.

"We will support the Force in minimising the impact of any reductions which are forced on us because of the financial situation."

Chief Constable Med Hughes added: "The next couple of years will be a challenge to our resourcefulness. We don't engage in wasteful or unnecessary activity.

"Local policing has developed in a balanced way for very good reasons and there are risks that service options the public have come to rely on are cut out completely.

"Nevertheless we have to be realistic and every public service will have to take a hard look at what it does and how it does it. We will work closely with the Police Authority to head off any adverse impact."

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