South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright is asking the public to spend a penny to keep coppers on the beat.
In his first budget since being elected in November, Mr Wright is proposing an increase of around one pence a day on the council tax precept.
Mr Wright said the £30 million budget reduction since 2010 and a further £13 million reduction in the next two years represents a 20 per cent reduction for policing in the county.
He believes a precept increase of around one pence per day will keep police on the beat and replace the 60 officers expected to retire in the coming year.
His plans for the force also include 400 extra special constables over the next two years, extra officers to tackle child sexual exploitation and more victim support services.
Mr Wright said: “While the underlying function of any police budget is to ensure the delivery of best value for money for taxpayers, the primary aim is that my budget will still allow the force to deliver a greater police visibility in our neighbourhoods and one that leads to a decrease in criminal activity.”
“I recognise that people want to see a greater police presence and to know that not only local petty crime, but also serious and organised criminal activity is efficiently and effectively reduced.”
Mr Wright said it was ‘exasperating’ that the force had lost £43 million due to Government cuts.
He said while others might be happy to make do, he would be ‘wringing as much value for money’ as he could out of every £1 spent.
“I believe my attitude towards what I call ‘proactively managing austerity measures’ in South Yorkshire is far superior to the often passive and lack-lustre ones encouraged by a Government that seems to think we in the regions should simply just put up with it and ‘do more with less,” continued Mr Wright.
“It really is unacceptable that an area such as South Yorkshire, with its own unique problems on the back of deprivation caused by the severe employment losses in the economy over past years, should be compared by the Government to the rural heartlands of Southern England in terms of crime.”
Are you happy to pay more to keep bobbies on the beat? What would you like to see the force focus on?
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