John Healey MP has revealed shocking figures that show Police Community Support Officer (PCSOs) numbers have fallen by 66% across South Yorkshire under the Conservatives since 2010.

Latest figures from police work force data show that in September 2010 there were 314 PCSOs serving across South Yorkshire but that figure plummeted to just 107 in September last year – a fall of 66%.

PCSOs play a key role in liaising between local communities and the police and provide an important visible, accessible, and approachable uniformed presence.

John Healey said: “It’s shocking to see that we’ve lost around two thirds of our vital PCSOs because the government has failed to come up with a proper plan for the police workforce.

“Our communities and our police are being let down as the Tories have spent the last decade cutting back our neighbourhood policing teams.

“While the Conservatives take a back seat and blame local forces when things go wrong, Labour will lead with a clear mission to raise confidence in every police force and build back neighbourhood policing across the country with 13,000 more officers and PCSOs in our neighbourhoods.”

It comes as half of the population say they never see police on patrol, up from quarter of the population in 2010.

Labour would put 13,000 police officers and PCSOs into neighbourhood roles across the country paid for by merging procurement of IT, cars and other equipment for the 43 separate police forces.

The neighbourhood officers would play a key role in tackling antisocial behaviour alongside new Respect Orders to crack down on the most persistent offenders and hotspot policing to support problem areas and target specific issues in town centres and local communities.