THE pay increases awarded to police and prison officers have been welcomed by Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

But he said the government’s announcement that police officers will receive a pay rise of one per cent plus a bonus of one per cent has ‘two stings in the tail’.

Dr Billings said: “First, the pay rises are wiped out by the increase in the cost of living that was announced on the same day.

“Second, no new money is being given to cover the cost; therefore police and crime commissioners will have to find the money from within existing budgets. That means the reserves will have to be used.
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This is a potentially dangerous path since reserves are kept for a reason.

“In South Yorkshire’s case, they are there in part to cover costs that arise from both the Hillsborough disaster and child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. Considerable sums of money are involved and the reserves are there in part to pay for them.”