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Nottinghamshire Police defends £7m cost of PCSOs
28 DEC 2010 BBC NEWS
Nottinghamshire's 265 police community support officers (PCSOs) cost the county £7m in wages in 2009/2010, it has emerged.
The figure is up from £354,000 in 2008/2009, according to a Freedom of Information request (FoI) by the Press Association.
In Nottingham PCSOs detected just six crimes but senior officers insisted their role was community-based prevention and not detection.
Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: "They can deal with the problems that the community tell us are their priorities, whether it be speeding, littering, youth nuisance, disorder, noise - they're the things that we focus them on."
He added that some crimes were detected by PCSOs but "that's not a priority".
"They're there to deal with community problems, that are community priorities," said Mr Eyre.
PCSOs do not have the full powers of regular police officers.
In Leicestershire the 237 PCSOs cost slightly more than £5m.
PCSO Phil Iley, Leicestershire Police's volunteers policy development manager, said: "Our PCSO colleagues are a very valuable part of neighbourhood policing, tackling the crime and anti-social behaviour that matters most to people locally."
ESSEX: Are Police Community Support Officers worth all the money?
By martin green firstname.lastname@example.org
ESSEX Police's 404 Police Community Support Officers cost taxpayers £7.4 million annually, but issued just 38 fines in the past year.
The figures were revealed by a Chronicle Freedom of Information (FoI) request. We were initially told it did not hold the information, but after a lengthy appeal, Essex Police relented.
The figures were released as the force tries to decide how to slash £45 million from its budget amid savage spending cuts.
About 400 officers may be axed, but Essex Police Federation's Tony Rayner believes PCSOs should be the first to go.
"They should be axed altogether," he said. "It's harsh, because we are talking about individuals and their livelihoods, but Essex Police has to save so much money it comes down to hard choices.
"We only have PCSOs because they took officers off the streets.
"If the public knew what PCSOs could do and what police officers could do, they would opt for one police officer over two PCSOs."
Support officers do not have the power to arrest people, so when we asked how many crimes they detected last year, Essex Police's Nigel Amos said: "While it could be argued the response should therefore be nil, I felt at the time this would be unfair to our PCSO staff, as in many cases they are involved in the early stages of an arrest."
Their main power is dishing out fines.
In Suffolk, there are 171 PCSOs who fined 9,316 people last year – 54 times as many as their more costly Essex counterparts.
But Essex Police's Detective Superintendent Ewen Wilson praised the PCSOs. He said: "They provide a visible presence within our communities, provide eyes and ears on the streets and reassurance for the public.
"PCSOs patrol their local beats, get to know their communities and gain invaluable intelligence."
But Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers' Alliance said: "It is striking how little evidence there is of the effectiveness of the PCSO programme.
"Visible policing is important, but the answer is police officers out on the beat."
Police officer and PCSO stabbed in Ealing Broadway
5:09pm Wednesday 15th December 2010 Ealing Times
A POLICE officer and a PCSO have been stabbed during a routine operation in Ealing Broadway this afternoon.
The incident happened just after 3pm today, following a routine check by police on a bus.
A PC has been slashed in the neck and his injuries are thought to be life-threatening. A PCSO was stabbed in the arms and is said to be seriously injured.
The Leader of Ealing Council, Councillor Julian Bell said: “This is a truly shocking incident. I’ve lived in Ealing for 25 years and I’ve never known anything like this.
“Police officers do a fantastic job and put their lives on the line every day to keep our streets safe. Our thoughts are with the officers involved and their families. "Council officers are already reviewing footage from all CCTV cameras in the area and will be giving police every possible assistance with their investigations into the incident.”
Greater Manchester Police
Lower Irlam Crime Prevention Day (27 Nov 10) where PCSO Mark Fitzgerald and PCSO Phil Elliott had the Mobile Police Station on the Sandywarps/Townsgate way etc Estate;-
Despite the inclement weather, several of the areas Home Watch Co-ordinators and members turned out in earnest to assist us in ensuring that every home on the estate received my latest crime prevention leaflet.
The presence of the Mobile Police Station at various key locations throughout the estate proved to be a great success. A good number of local residents took the opportunity to approach us, with regard to personal and home security in the run up to the Christmas period.
PCSO Mark Fitzgerald said "An enthusiastic member of one the areas many home watch schemes, has purchased a brand new mobile phone and has also topped the phone up with £10 credit, This follows on from a suggestion by another home watch member at the recent Home Watch meeting held on the 24th November at Lady James Hall, Irlam. Home Watch members said that they will all club together to pay for the credit on the phone for me to us. This is great stuff the and the lady that bought the phone has paid for this out of her own pocket £30 for the mobile and £10 Credit. I hope to be able to use this phone in the fight against crime as well as further increasing active local Community engagement. I will text all members when on duty with my shift times & the members will be able to phone/text me with any suspicious sighting during my t.o.d.
"And Finally i did this same event last year and was a big success and we reduced burglaries here by 80%, i hope this years event will go some way to mirroring that success and again this shows that we are doing everything we can to try and stop Burglaries in the area, and todays event just shows that we have got residents out there willing to work with us and help us in the fight against crime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PCSO cuts would be a 'disaster'
Tuesday 30 November 2010 by Adrian Roberts
Unison has urged the government to protect Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) funding, warning today that it would be a "disaster" for neighbourhood policing if numbers are cut.
The union said it wants a ring-fence on funding to continue into the next Comprehensive Spending Review period and to March 2013 at the very least, claiming that without this guarantee community policing will be undermined, allowing anti-social behaviour to spiral.
National officer for police staff Ben Priestley said that, while policing is very much a team effort, PCSOs unlike police officers are employees who can be made redundant, making them much more vulnerable to cuts.
"Unison is calling for neighbourhood policing to be protected and to do this we need to protect the ring-fenced grant over the next few years," he said.
"Chiefs' and authorities' decisions on where the axe will fall will be made doubly difficult by the likelihood of cash-strapped local councils stopping partnership funding of PCSOs, which sadly is already happening in some force areas.
Labour town councillor Martin Blencowe spoke after the Coalition Government defended its plans to cut the policing budget by 20 per cent in real terms.
Prime Minister David Cameron clashed with acting Labour leader Harriet Harman at Prime Minister Question’s over the cut which she said would mean fewer officers on the streets.
That debate came on the same day as the Advertiser reported on the police response to a major public order incident at the town’s Bamboo Lounge in Queen Street, which saw extra support called in from Burton.
Councillor Blencowe applauded that ‘excellent’ response but admitted his concern at the possible loss of ‘more than 3,000’ frontline officers and the fate of PCSOs.
He said: “Under Labour and particularly noticeable in Uttoxeter there has been an overall reduction in crime, anti-social behaviour and low level disturbance.
The regular sight of our PCSOs around the town is very comforting.
“What a pity that the Tories proposed national police funding cuts may threaten all this.
“How sad that the Tory Party who used to claim to be the party of Law and Order should in their headlong approach to draconian budget cuts at any cost put the gains achieved in law and order under so much threat.” Independent councillor Jerry Latham has been vocal in the past in his support of the work of PCSOs in Uttoxeter.
He told the Advertiser that he hoped that the budget cuts would not see a reduction in their numbers.
He said: “PCSOs in Uttoxeter have made a dramatic difference to attitudes towards policing. Here in Uttoxeter we now see a frequent and regular presence of PCSOs and regular police.
“The PCSOs have been especially effective in making contact and building rapport with youths in the town, developing a mutual respect within the community.
“I very much hope that we will see no reduction, for whatever reasons, in the PCSO establishment in Uttoxeter and surrounding areas.”
Thames Valley Police
Officers tackled hellish behaviour at Newbury flats
Tue, November 30 2010
By Eddie van der Walt, Reporter
Anti-social behaviour at Kyftle Court in Newbury was "absolute hell" for residents, says police superintendent
THREE Police officers (pictured) have been commended for tackling anti-social behaviour which has caused "absolute hell" for residents in Kyftle Court, Newbury.
Sgt Andy Matthews, PC Darryl MacAndrew and Police Community Support Officer Pete Fish were recently rewarded at the Berkshire West Basic Command Unit (BCU) Commendation ceremony for their acts of bravery
A POLICE community support officer from Grantham will be part of the remembrance service at the Whitehall Cenotaph in London on Sunday.
PCSO Mark Barr said he is honoured to be one of five representatives from Lincolnshire Police to represent the force at the service.
Forces from across the UK and Northern Ireland form part of the event, alongside the royal family, prime minister and politicians.
PCSO Barr, of the Grantham North Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I feel a sort of pride, and I’m so honoured and privileged.
“It is probably the only time in my life that I’m going to get to do something like this, it’s a privilege to represent the force.”
Officers will be given a briefing on Saturday evening, followed by a drill early Sunday morning before the service later that morning.