Extra police officers set to be recruited in South Yorkshire

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Police chiefs are to recruit an extra 50 police officers over the next 12 months.

South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright made the announcement after revealing residents are to pay a few more pence to the police each week in their new council tax payments.

The increase works out at four pence a week for Band A homes.

In setting the police budget for the next year, Commissioner Wright announced £5 million is to be spent on public protection policing, which will involve the creation of 102 new posts.

He said the force overtime bill will be reduced to free up extra cash.

Commissioner Wright said: “This budget represents the biggest ever annual investment in policing in South Yorkshire.

“I have consistently said protecting the most vulnerable in society is my number one priority and in this budget I will be lifting the force spend in this area from the bottom quarter to the top quarter of forces across the country.

“The £5m investment in public protection will result in an additional 102 officers employed directly in combating some of the most heinous crimes, including child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and sexual assault.

“In preparing my budget I was also determined there should be no reductions in the numbers of officers and PCSOs engaged in frontline duties and this budget will achieve that.

“The Government’s cuts to policing budgets in South Yorkshire are grossly unfair and I have been determined to find ways of ensuring an effective policing service that protects the community without putting the entire bill on the heads of hard-working and cash-strapped residents.

“I am acutely conscious that families are struggling to make ends meet in the worst recession for decades. The increase to the policing aspect of the council tax is as low as I could keep it to generate part of the money required to fund vital services without it having a severe impact on residents’ finances.”