The South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, has today (Wednesday, 10 July 2019) commented on the publication of the Front Line Review.

He said: “The report highlights the impact that the years of austerity have had on crime and policing across the country.

“The government chose to invest less in policing and as a result we have seen a fall in the number of officers and a rise in crime. Nationally there has been around 20,000 fewer officers and in South Yorkshire numbers fell by about 500.

“This has affected both levels of crime and police morale.

“For years the government was in denial about this because for a time crime continued to fall, but in recent years’ crime has gone up, particularly serious and violent crime and ministers have had to take notice.

“Police forces have had to do more work with fewer officers and this has affected levels of sickness and general well-being.

“This year in South Yorkshire we are increasing the number of officers overall for the first time since 2010 and we hope to be able to continue that next year as well. The force is also reviewing what more it can do to improve the well-being of all staff.

“Central government needs to take the report absolutely seriously. We owe it to the men and women who put their lives on the line every day and those who support them.”