The following article appears on the South Yorkshire Times website:
I have nothing but respect for the brave men and women of our police service.
They do an amazing and difficult job – putting their lives on the line day in, day out – and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
On top of this, they have had to cope with Government cuts that have seen 8,500 frontline police officers across the country gone since 2010. South Yorkshire Police expect to have lost over 800 police officers and staff by 2015.
When I go out and about with the police in Barnsley, I am always struck by the challenges they face. From taking on drug dealers and violent yobs, to having to act like social workers and surrogate parents, dealing with kids on the streets who should be at home in bed.
But as well as doing their job with total professionalism and dedication to duty, I know that the extraordinary public servants who make up the rank and file of our police service often feel incredibly under-valued.