IT seems ironic that the day after announcing huge job cuts West Yorkshire Police has made a fresh plea for more volunteers.

No doubt it is hoped they will bridge some of the gaps left when people leave their posts, but if that is the case then there is clearly a question mark over the legitimacy of at least some of these redundancies. It would be wrong for people forced out of paid posts to see them being replaced by volunteers.

There are already 352 police volunteers as well as 356 Special Constables who carry out around 9,500 hours per month for West Yorkshire Police – and the community should be grateful for all the work they do.

But surely there is a matter of principle here. As the cuts bite deeper and deeper will the volunteers’ role become ever more crucial – and possibly more and more frontline?