SOUTH Yorkshire Police Authority has warned that the cost of reforming policing could see fewer police officers on the streets.
Members of Parliament are concerned about the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which aims to abolish Police Authorities around the country and replace them with directly elected policing and crime commissioners.
The authority fears that the new system will cost the equivalent of removing more than 600 police officers around the country—including 20 in South Yorkshire—from the front line.
It is estimated the national cost of introducing the new police management structure during the next five years will be a minimum of £453 million.
This is £101 million more than the current arrangements with the police authorities and the equivalent of removing more than 600 police officers around the country from the front line.
Charles Perryman, chairman of the police authority, said: “The whole reform agenda is being progressed at entirely the wrong time and without any proven business case.
“We question the ability of one person to represent the views of the whole of South Yorkshire and carry out the job currently done by 17 members of the Authority.
“We are anticipating cuts of over £40 million over the next four years and on top of this there will be the cost of a local election for a South Yorkshire Policing and Crime Commissioner, expected to be the equivalent of 20 police officers.”