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  2009 Articles

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A FORMER Toyota worker who became a Police Community Support Officer for Overseal has been honoured with a surprise award.
18.7.09 | Burton Mail
PSCO Dave McMillan, 53, received the Civic Award 2009 for notable services to the community and support for many aspects of village life at Overseal Gala.

The officer, who lives in Swadlincote after moving from Scotland with his family when he was nine, said the award given to him from Overseal Parish Council was a complete surprise.

PCSO McMillan works in the South Area police team which covers Overseal, Netherseal, Coton-in-the-Elms and Walton-on-Trent and has worked as a Police Community Support Officer since October 2006.

This particular award was for his work in Overseal.

He said: "I have been involved with the parish council for two years. I have identified concerns raised by the community and work with them to bring a successful solution.

"I have worked with young people and have visited local schools and pre-schools and have maintained the high visibility patrolling and got to know the residents of Overseal."

The PCSO said he had no idea that he was to get the award.

"I was totally flummoxed when I was given the Civic Award at the Gala and feel very privileged and grateful to the parish council for this," he said.

"When I became a PCSO I wanted a challenge to do something involving members of the public and transfer my skills I have to use them in this job.

"Along with PC Debbie Croxall and PCSO Marianne Beeston, who also patrol the area, I think we have made a difference.

"I am extremely grateful to Overseal Parish Council for this award. It was totally unexpected. I will be continuing to work in the community."


PCSO finds love in the pages of the Sutton Guardian

select for full story Thursday 16th July 2009

Michaela Warner had almost given up on love when her friend encouraged her to take a chance on one of the hopefuls advertising in the Sutton Guardian's Two's Company page.

Scanning the page Police Community Support Officer Warner's eyes stopped on Neil Russell's advert looking for a soul mate to wine and dine.

The pair decided to meet and months later after a “whirlwind romance” Mr Russell, 47, a warehouse driver, had proposed.

PCSO Warner, 44, who has three children, said: “Our first date went better than expected. We met at Cafe Neros on Sutton High Street, right next to the police station.

“It was good back up in case something went wrong, but it turned out I didn't need them although it felt like dozens of them dropped by to say hello.

“I liked him straight away, he's funny, confident, very sociable and honest.”

select for full story The couple are now preparing to marry in August at Sutton Registry Office.

PCSO Warner said: “When I asked my 17-year-old daughter if she like Neil she said: 'Mum there is nothing not to like about Neil'.

“Neil makes me feel alive. I love him very much, he's my soul mate and I share everything with him.

“He's the love of my life, I can't wait to get married.”


Insp gives PCSOs 'pat on the back'
Published Date: 03 July 2009
By Rebekah Gunn
A PUBLIC pat on the back for Skegness' police community support officers was sounded at a meeting of the town council.

"I have never met a group of people more passionate about their work," said Insp Terry Ball.

There have been calls for PCSOs to be more rigorous in issuing tickets to parking offenders, but Insp Ball said it was not their job to act as traffic wardens.

He commented: "Their role is more one of education than of enforcement - they are conduit between the public and the police."

He agreed to provide a list of the powers available to PCSOs at a future council meeting

Source: Skegness Standard


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A PCSO who used Facebook to declare his job a “war on scum” and moaned about the “moron kids” he had to deal is facing a dressing down from bosses, Emily Hall exclusively reports.
KENT NEWS
Jack Berriman-Fairbrother likened himself to undercover cops from the 80s TV show Miami Vice – even though he is just a normal PCSO patrolling Sittingbourne’s Grove Ward.
select for full story The young community officer, who is believed to be in his early 20s and likes to call himself Tactical Jack, is now facing an investigation over his behaviour, which included whingeing about not having a gun and a fast car to patrol the town’s streets.

In one post, the PCSO, who is from Lordswood, near Chatham, said: “Which idiot decided I had to be up at 6am today? The same one that’s making me get up at 6am tomorrow? Back to the war on scum...”

In another he whinges: “Back at work tomorrow. Oh gee, I’m so looking forward to more CCTV collection.”

Other posts see him admitting: “I spend all my anger on moron kids who think they can take the Old Bill.”

Pictures of the officer show him sticking his fingers up at the camera and starring in his own 18-rated movie poster entitled ‘Sittingbourne Vice’.

He lists his political views as ultra conservative – lock ‘em up and keep ‘em there and also claims to want “a job where you drive around the streets at high speeds and get to blow **** up.”

Other rants see him demanding a “black uniform, high-powered, unmarked vehicle, rifle, wolf and the power to kick some a***” and he lists his heroes as trigger happy John McClane from the Die Hard films and Alex Foley, the Beverly Hills cop who likes to bend the rules.

select for full story The Facebook faux pas have been met with fury from people in his ward, who say that a Police Community Support Officer should be stupid enough to talk about his job in such a flippant way.

A woman, who did not want to be named, said: “These people are meant to be looking after us, so it’s a bit scary to know they come out with all this stuff when you’re not looking.

“I do actually find this young man’s level of aggression a bit of a worry – he seems to have a huge chip on his shoulder.

"Fair enough, we all have a bit of a laugh and a joke about work now and again, but you’d think he’d have the brains to keep it to himself in what is essentially a public place.

“I’m not sure I’d want to go to him in the future if I had a problem and to be honest I really don’t think it’s all that funny.”

But ward councillors have played the online blunders down, saying they were merely to “amuse” close friends.

"Facebook messages are intended to be between friends, rather than being public, so there is a temptation to exaggerate,” said ward councilor Gareth Randall (Con).


PCSO Pair Take To The Streets Of Spen
select for further information Thursday 28 May 2009
The Spenborough Neighbourhood Policing Team are showing their commitment to tackling quality of life issues for local residents as two new PCSOs take to the streets.

PCSO Chris Rylands and PCSO Thomas Lawrence have recently completed their eight week training course at the Police Headquarters complex in Wakefield.

PCSO Rylands will be covering the Scholes area, whilst PCSO Lawrence PCSO Thomas Lawrence will patrol Norristhorpe and Robertown will patrol the Norristhorpe and Robertown areas.

"Both Tom and myself are looking forward to the challenge of working within the Spen Neighbourhood Policing Team and the local community as a whole. Our key aims will be to maintain high visibility foot patrols, make new contacts and maintain those which the team has already developed.

“We will also be looking to tackle issues which have been identified as local priorities by the community. This will include clamping down on anti social behaviour, reducing local burglaries and also car crime.

“Already whilst out on foot patrol we have dealt with shop lifters attempting to take groceries worth over £160 from a supermarket in Cleckheaton and have assisted in securing a residential property in Heckmondwike which was growing a considerable number of cannabis plants.”

“We realise the expectations that people have in this area and we are fully prepared to meet those expectations. Residents around here deserve the best service possible and I am aware they will rely on us for support. Hopefully people will get to know us and feel comfortable reporting any problems they may have.”

select for further information Spen Neighbourhood Policing Team Sergeant, John Ioanna said:
“The PCSOs have been specifically deployed to those areas to provide a high visibility presence, to deter potential offenders and to reassure the community.”

“We are fully committed to reducing anti-social behaviour as well as providing an opportunity for people to bring to our attention issues that are affecting their quality of life.

"The PCSOs remit is to tackle nuisance and anti-social behaviour head on. These officers, carry the appropriate powers to do this and they will be ensuring that the streets of Spenborough continue to be safe.


select for full story Bolton honours its top crime fighters 2009
POLICE Community Support Officer Mark Flannery has done much to tackle anti-social behaviour on a troubled estate. He was the driving force behind an action plan for the Hall I’th’ Wood housing estate, encouraging residents to tell the authorities how they wanted the estate to be policed.

PCSO Flannery also provided evidence for ASBOs against the most prolific offenders on the estate, leading to a 67 per cent reduction in criminal damage, a 66 per cent reduction in burglary and an 89 per cent reduction in thefts from cars.

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NEIGHBOURHOOD officers and council staff were commended for collecting evidence against a problem family who blighted the lives of residents in Breightmet.

PCSO John Gallagher, Sgt Martin Lally, PCSO Danny Worthington and Community Safety Officer, Richard White, targeted Susan Arnold and her family. They gathered information over an 18-month period against the family, who were eventually evicted from their home. Bolton at Home listed a raft of complaints, including threats, harassment and intimidation, committing criminal damage, racist abuse and drug taking.

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SERGEANT Kevin Lister has spearheaded Bolton Police’s revolutionary approach to keeping prolific criminals on the straight and narrow. The Jigsaw project targets offenders who commit the most crime.

The scheme has gone from managing 64 offenders in May, 2006 to more than 100 today.

Sgt Lister’s hard work and dedication has played a key part in Bolton Police receiving the Beacon award for offender management. He was awarded the Matt Dyson Trophy, presented to an officer from the Bolton division who has shown significant dedication to duty.


Kingston police defend spend on Police Community Support Officers
12:50pm Friday 15th May 2009
By David Lindsell
Kingston police have defended their spend on PCSOs, after it was revealed they have handed out just 18 on the spot fines in the past three years.

PCSOs on patrol! The Metropolitan Police Federation criticised the £4.2m spent on the police community support officers and called for an independent review of their use across London.

The penalty notices for disorder were handed out for littering, graffiti, fly-posting or annoying neighbours by making a din and were revealed after a Freedom of Information request by the Surrey Comet.

PCSOs have powers to detain suspects until police arrive and to hand out fixed-penalty notices for a selection of traffic and public order offences.

They have fewer legal powers than a police officer but help with policing tasks.

The 86 PCSOs in Kingston will earn upwards of £25,000 a year depending on their shift patterns.

Police could not say how many crimes they had solved but said they had been involved in the investigation process as well as stopping about 9,000 people on the streets in three years.

Chief Inspector John Pendleton, who has responsibilities for safer neighbourhoods teams, had reservations about PCSOs when he took on the job four years ago but was won over by the work they do.

He described the 18 on the spot fines as “quite low” but said PCSOs were involved in “old-fashioned policing”, doing everything from raising police visibility to increasing knowledge of local criminals.

He said: “They do get injured and I do have some concerns about their level of safety equipment.

"Am I better off having 50 police officers? The answer is I don’t know. Maybe from a position of crime the answer is yes but that is not what members of the public are saying.

“They are saying it is important to see PCSOs and be able to speak to PCSOs and neighbourhood teams. We need to be guided by what the community wants.”

Peter Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, said: “I think that is very low.

"We have continually questioned the value of PCSOs and we have continually asked for a proper evaluation of their worth and what they provide for the public.

“There’s some good things they do but I’m not that happy paying £24,000 to someone to do not very much.”

Councillor Howard Jones, leader of Kingston Council’s Tory party and ex-police officer, said: “A proper review of the effectiveness of PCSOs and what they have achieved would be certainly a very purposeful document.

“My instinct is they do a good job. If I had a criticism it would be on the basis that it is policing on the cheap and the limited hours they work and powers they have.”

Leader of the council Councillor Derek Osbourne backed PCSOs but said although some councils contribute, Kingston felt the Met should cover their wages.

He said: “They really play a role in community policing and they have done a great deal to send the fear of crime down with their visible presence.”


Tory review of PCSOs announced as Federation launches fresh criticism
14 May 2009
Police Professional.Com
The Conservative party has announced a review of the role of police community support officers (PCSOs) as this week’s Police Federation conference renewed criticism of the role.

The Conservative Shadow Home Secretary has this week confirmed that he will instigate a review of the role of PCSOs and that scrapping the role could be a possibility.

Chris Grayling said he had not yet decided whether PCSOs – deemed toothless by many but welcomed by others as a visible deterrent against crime in the neighbourhood – would be scrapped but said: “Doing away with PCSOs is something I’m looking at at the moment. I’m minded to say that decisions about their future should be taken locally, but it’s not something I’ve reached a settled view on yet.”

He added that anti-social behaviour would be his top priority in office.

“There is a sense in some communities that they are under siege – not 24 hours a day, seven days of the week, but for very significant periods of time. I have met people who feel that the level of anti-social behaviour in their area has reached a point when it is causing them real misery in their lives.”

This week’s Police Federation conference heard renewed criticism of the role as being a cheap alternative for warranted officers, with among others, Paul Lewis, chair of the constables central committee, saying the failure of PCSOs to intervene in many circumstances, such as a domestic violence incident he witnessed, left the public feeling short-changed.

“That was appalling and police officers would have intervened,” he said.


select for full story New police support officer for Brampton
By Linzi Watson
Last updated 09:48, Friday, 17 April 2009

A new police community support officer has been recruited in Brampton with a mission to tackle anti-social behaviour in the town.

Carly Watson, 22, ditched her career as a self-employed hairdresser to join the police force – an ambition she has held since she was young.

Having traded in the comb and scissors, Carly can now been seen pounding the pavements of Brampton, Longtown and Corby Hill where, she said, anti-social behaviour, speeding and litter are her main challenges.

Fresh from five weeks of training, she has taken on her new role with determination and drive.

She said: “I am really enjoying the role.

“It is a brilliant job and I am happy to get out in the fresh air and meet people.

“I was always seeing new faces when I worked as a hairdresser but as a PCSO I am really giving something back to the local community.”

“I decided to apply for the job because I fancied a change and also because I have wanted to be in the police force since I was young, following in the footsteps of some of my family members.”

Carly, who previously worked at Natalie’s hair studio in Newtown Road, Carlisle, also praised the pro-activeness of Brampton residents who recently launched their own crackdown on cars speeding through their town.

Carly said: “Local people take an active role in community issues and it has been great working with them. “About 80 per cent of my time is spent getting out and being visible. Local people are grateful for that presence. Their reactions are really positive. I will also be working with local youth groups in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.” Carly, who lives in Warwick Road, Carlisle, trained at police headquarters in Penrith before joining three other PCSOs who cover the Brampton, Longtown and Corby Hill area. “The training was good but I was really looking forward to getting out on the streets and putting it into practise,” added Carly.


Wrexham PCSO's told to target litter louts
Apr 13 2009 By Martin Williams
POLICE Community Support Officers have been told to issue a fine to Wrexham’s litter louts every time they go out on the beat.

Councillor Carrie Harper said PCSOs in the town told her they have been ordered by their bosses to dish out a fixed penalty notice for the offence on every single shift.

She believes the ticketing targets are unnecessary and possibly illegal, and last night she urged anyone accosted by a PCSO for littering to challenge the issuing of a ticket and write to their local authority.

She said: "Litter is a problem in many parts of the borough.

"But is this how police resources are best utilised?

"The council has its own environmental health enforcement officers who undertake this same work as well as a dedicated team of Streetscene staff.

"I am surprised that littering is seen as such a priority for police chiefs.

"I’m sure the people of my ward and elsewhere in Wrexham would be equally surprised."

Cllr Harper said the police have their priorities wrong and should be on hand to deal with more serious offences.

She added: "It’s a concern that PCSOs, who are partly funded by Wrexham council, are being driven by a target culture that bears no relation to the needs of the community.

"I’m sure people would want to see police resources targeted towards catching drug dealers, burglars and violent criminals.

"They should also be trying to improve community relations rather than be forced to issue tickets for littering."

The Plaid Cymru member also claims that PCSOs who issue fixed penalty tickets for littering have been instructed to issue the Wrexham council tickets which carry a fine of £75, rather than the North Wales Police tickets which cost the offender £50.

She is worried that this action is potentially illegal and made reference to a letter received by Wrexham council from Vernon Coaker MP, a minister at the Home Office, which read: "PCSOs cannot be appointed as ‘authorised officers' of a local authority given that they are employed by the Police Authority.

"As such they could not accrue money on behalf of the local authority and more importantly fulfil a dual function for both authorities at the same time."

Cllr Harper now plans to take the matter further. She said: "I will be writing to the chairman of the North Wales Police Authority to seek clarification on whether PCSOs employed by North Wales Police can in fact issue tickets on behalf of the county council.

"I would advise any member of the public who finds themselves in this situation to challenge the issuing of the ticket."


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select for full story PCSO keeps fit with over 60s
Date published: 06/04/2009
Members of Alkrington Community Centre were given a keep fit class with a difference.

The group of 40 were being shown exercising routines by their local Police Community Support Officer.

Former personal trainer, PCSO Dominique Grimes showed the group, all aged 60 and above, simple steps all from the comfort of a chair.

PCSO Grimes, who is part of Middleton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This was just a really simple keep fit class to show them ways to remain active.

“It was a really enjoyable event for everyone and all of the ladies really got into the spirit of the class.

“As a former boxing coach I know what methods are easy to use for all age groups, which is why I incorporated a few boxing moves into the steps.”

Exercises included in the event included sidestepping as well as work on the arms, legs, neck and shoulders.

PCSO Grimes, said: “They were taught movements that could be done while sitting down and even while ironing or washing up.

“Everyone that took part in the class was given a fitness test before they started to make sure that it was suitable for them and after the class a number of the ladies and gents asked for extra steps that they could do when they got home.”


3rd April 2009
Eagle-eyed PCSOs catch suspected Battersea burglar
By Guardian Reporter
A chance inspection of a parked car in Battersea led to the arrest of a suspected burglar last week.

Police community support officers (PCSO) Michelle Allen and Dave Archer were on patrol in Knowsley Road on Friday, March 27, when they noticed a black car parked in a secluded spot.

After running the vehicle’s details through the police system they discovered the car had been used in an aggravated burglary the morning before, during which the occupants of the house had been threatened with a firearm and baseball bats.

Arrangements were made for the car to be removed for forensic examination, but just minutes before officers were due to lift the vehicle a woman got into it and tried to drive off.

She was stopped and arrested at the scene by firearms officers.

Police then searched the house the woman was seen coming out of.

Inside, a second woman was arrested along with a man fitting the description of the burglary suspects.

A further search uncovered a baseball bat and a Rolex watch believed to be linked with the aggravated burglary.

A police spokesman said: “This was an excellent result which would not have happened if PCSO Allen and Archer had not been so vigilant.”


select for full story Lincoln PCSOs get power to issue parking tickets
Friday, April 03, 2009
Lincoln Police Community Support Officers have been given new powers to hand out parking tickets.

The PSCOs will target drivers who park in bus stops or no waiting areas, cause obstructions, and park the wrong type of vehicle in designated bays.

Chief Constable Richard Crompton said giving PCSOs authority to enforce parking restrictions was "a direct response to requests from local communities". "There are situations, such as where a vehicle parks in a dangerous position or persistently outside a school, where the public would expect the police to take action.

"It is only right in these circumstances that PCSOs have the ability take enforcement action if necessary.

"This new PCSO power is mainly designed to give them the means to tackle regular and blatant offenders, and will enhance not replace the role of the traffic wardens."

For more on the new powers, and the reaction from local communities, see Friday's Echo.


PCSO chased Kingston motorbike jewel thieves
1:10pm Friday 3rd April 2009
By Mike Didymus
A police community support officer patrolling the town centre tried to chase armed robbers who smashed their way into a jewellers with an axe this morning.

The PCSO was walking past Ernest Jones in Clarence Street as thieves struck in broad daylight at 10.38am in front of frightened shoppers.

One of the men driving what was described as an off-road type motorcycle, was riding in circles, and "going berserk", terrifying passers by.

The thieves escaped towards John Lewis, driving toward Kingston bridge.

JD Sports worker Adrian Kenyon, 24, heard screaming from outside and a group of woman ran into the shop saying they have got axes.

He said: "There was a guy on a motorbike going round in a circle going nuts. They were pretty brave. They were out there for five to 10 minutes.

"There were people running around. Some were standing looking. They were petrified."

Another onlooker said: "There was a PCSO outside. He tried to chase them but he didn't have much luck."

Police are still interviewing shop staff at the jewellers.

They have not yet said what has been stolen or the value of the robbery.

There was no sign of damage to the outside of the shop as the robbers used the axe to smash through to the glass cabinet.

PCSOs have faced criticism since their introduction amid confusion about their roles leading to them being dubbed "plastic policemen".

They cannot arrest people but can issue fixed penalty notices for littering or cycling on the footpath.


select for full story 03 April 2009
By Paul Watson
STUDENTS went head-to-head with police on the pitch in their battle to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The event was aimed at breaking down barriers and fostering good relations between youngsters and community policing teams.

The Hartlepool College of Further Education students took to the pitch for a football and netball match against local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) at Grayfields.

Organisers hoped the matches would help the PCSOs to improve communication with the 16-19-year-olds, and give the students a greater understanding of the role of their local community support officers.

The event was organised by the students as part of their BTEC Sports Studies coursework while raising funds for local organisation Pathways, a group that helps disabled people become more independent.

Shaun Hope, sports lecturer at Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: "We held this event for the first time last year, and yet again it has proved to be a brilliant day.

"These groups are normally on opposite ends of the spectrum, and can sometimes view each other with suspicion.

"By putting them together on the sports pitch, the barriers were broken down and a lot of good was done for community relations on both sides."

The college selected a team from a squad of 44 male and female footballers, whilst the PCSOs started with a 25-strong team.

A netball tournament ran alongside the football match.

Jackie Donley, Equality and Diversity Manager at the college, said: "This is a fantastic event that we hope will continue to run year after year.

"It shows the close working relationship between the college and the neighbourhood police and the positive work that is taking place to improve not only the college but the local community."

Paul Salter, a PCSO involved in the event, said: "The event was a huge success. It broke down barriers not only on the day, but also afterwards whenever the PCSOs meet with students on the street.


31st March 2009
By Michael Pickard
They have been called “plastic policemen”, “Blunkett's Bobbies” and “cardboard coppers”, but one Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) in Watford believes their luminous presence in the town provides a positive reassurance against local crime and disorder.
It is six years since the first PCSOs were assigned to the town, when 14 officers were split between Watford and Stevenage.

Now Hertfordshire Constabulary has 261 PCSOs working in all wards across the county, including 38 youth and school officers and six at mobile police stations. select for full story!

PCSO Tony Stopford, 55, was among the first to start work in Watford in March 2003, having spent 25 years working for Unigate Dairies.

Wearing glasses meant he could not fulfil his ambitions to become a police officer when he was younger, but he jumped at the chance to join as a PCSO.

He said: “It's different. It's not 9-5. I have never liked a job like that. I enjoy meeting and greeting people. In the town centre, people come up to you and just say thank you for being here.”

It is the town centre that is PCSO Stopford's “beat”, based at Kings Court Community Police Station and patrolling inside the ring road as part of the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team.

PCSOs have often been criticised for their lack of “power” but they can issue fixed penalty notices, confiscate alcohol and tobacco, take the name and address of someone acting anti-socially and have the power of entry to save life or prevent damage.

PCSO Stopford, whose son James is also a community support officer, said: “We're not supposed to deal with anything that could be a violent situation. But I wouldn't turn away from violence. If it's happening in front of me, I would have to get involved.”

PCSOs spend more than 80 per cent of their shift on the street and walking along the high street, PCSO Stopford is stopped by several members of the public, sometimes just to say hello.

A radio strapped to his shoulder, however, could call him to the scene of an incident at a moments notice. He is often called to help drunks and the homeless, and also comforts victims of crime.

Recently he came to the aid of an elderly woman who had her purse stolen and now gently instructs passing shoppers to keep their bags closed at all times to prevent “purse dipping”.


27 March 2009 By Paul Bloomfield
A FRIENDLY new face has begun patrolling the streets of Great Cornard.
Andrea Campbell, the new Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) for the village, has been in the job for just two weeks following nine weeks of training at Suffolk police headquarters in Martlesham Heath. select for full story The new role is a bit of a change for the 30-year-old, who until recently had been a travel agent in Bury St Edmunds for the past 11 years.

PCSO Campbell, who lives locally and knows the area well, said she was enjoying her new career immensely.

"I'm doing a lot of walking and finding places in Great Cornard that I didn't know existed," she said. "Everyone in the shops, pubs and whole community have been very welcoming."

PCSO Campbell said after more than a decade in the travel industry she decided it was time for a change and applied on 'a whim.'

"I really like being out of the shop environment in the fresh air. I really enjoyed the training and now I'm here and putting it in to practice it is even better."

PCSO Campbell joins PCSO Hannah Bitten covering Great Cornard. The new officer has been match-funded by the parish council.

This will cost the council £14,000, which can be paid in phases, with the matching £14,000 coming from Suffolk Police Authority.

Police priorities in the area currently include road safety outside schools, alcohol related anti-social behaviour, parking issues and continued high visibility patrols.


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03 April 2009
4 N I
Police Community Support Officer Launch Abandoned in Northern Ireland

There has been further confirmation that the PSNI is unlikely to get long-awaited unformed support from civilian patrol officers in the near future.

Although initially launched as a joint initiative by the Northern Ireland Office and PSNI in 2006, funding problems have stymied the NI Policing Board's scheme to act on recommendations on recruitment of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

This week, a Board spokesman confirmed that funding pressures meant recruitment could not proceed "at this time".

He also said this is not the only such delay due to cost constraints.

"Funding pressures also affected some projects aimed at improving how the police deal with calls from the public," said the statement.

"These issues are being kept under review and the Board will be keeping a close watch to ensure that resources are used to be best effect.


31 Mar 2009

First up is LordVanus with their question:

"Mr Mortimer, what is it that is done to people at Police college that turns them from ordinary citizens to haughty, stand offish individuals who believe they are special and who find it hard to speak to members of the public without treating them as potential criminals? I believe the police are narrow minded, have tunnel vision and do not realise how low they are held in public opinion due to their attitude."

Steve replies: "Thank you for your question.

I don’t accept that all police officers are as you describe. I think the vast majority of police officers, police community support officers and police staff do a good job in often difficult circumstances and sometimes we don't get it right and we need to improve.

Under the Policing Pledge we aim to acknowledge any dissatisfaction with the service that you have received within 24 hours of reporting it to us.

You will be interested to know a large part of the effort of my team at the National Policing Improvement Agency is to continue to drive to ensure that we deal with you in a professional, friendly and independent way." select for full story

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turbo_diesel asks:

"Over a thousand serving police officers in Great Britain have criminal convictions. Isn’t that troubling and disturbing?"

Steve replies: "I can understand how you might be concerned over the headline of one thousand police officers with criminal conviction; I too was concerned.

The police service expects good conduct from its officers and staff at all times. Where wrongdoing is alleged, police officers are investigated and action taken as appropriate to each case.

I’d ask you to remember that there are just over 140,000 police officers in the country, the overwhelming majority of whom serve the public with dedication under sometimes difficult circumstances.

It is very rare that a person with a criminal conviction will be recruited into the police service. Where an officer has committed misconduct, which can include a criminal offence, a range of disciplinary actions can be taken by a police force."

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Posted by derflapta

"Our community beat manager in Sunderland and our local community made great advances in reducing crime 6 years ago and then Northumberland police scrapped community policing when the new chief constable took office. Why?"

Steve replies: "I know that Northumbria Constabulary have been and are committed to neighbourhood policing. It may be that you are not aware who your neighbourhood policing team members are. The Policing Pledge includes the commitment to provide you with information so you know who your dedicated Neighbourhood Policing Team is, where they are based, how to contact them and how to work with them. If you go to http://www.direct.gov.uk and follow the links you can locate your local neighbourhood policing team and find out ways to contact and work with them.

In addition I’ve spoken to Northumbria police about your message and they responded saying,

“Like all forces in the UK, Northumbria Police has signed up to the Policing Pledge, a statement of ten ways in which it will support law abiding citizens and pursue criminals.

We constantly work to improve the quality of the service we offer, and we are committed to neighbourhood policing. We maintain a highly visible police presence in Sunderland area command with Community Support Officers and police foot patrols, and our officers are always willing to listen to and act on any concerns raised by residents.

From April 1 2009, we will increase the number of neighbourhood police officers in Sunderland, which will further strengthen our presence on the streets.

We are committed to fighting crime at all levels. We are always keen to communicate with our communities and anyone with any concerns is urged to speak to directly to our neighbourhood policing teams or visit our website at http://www.northumbria.police.uk”

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