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should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

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should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

Post by falkor » Sat May 03, 2014 8:02 am

Portsmouth PCSOs and city council warden roles could merge
25 Apr 2014 The News
PLANS to merge the roles of community wardens and Police Community Support Officers in Portsmouth have been put forward.
City council leader, councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the authority is considering the plan with Hampshire police.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We are looking at merging community wardens with police community support officers to create one group of people.

‘At the moment, we have a lot of people doing different things.

‘We want to create one group of people that looks after community safety instead of having one run by police and one run by the council.

‘We are making progress with it. We are in discussions with the other groups at the moment.

‘It will take a while to happen because it is mixing two groups of people from different organisations together.

‘We have got to get it right.

‘We don’t want to do something that won’t make a difference and improve the service.’

Community wardens are employed by the council to be the ‘eyes and ears of the community’.

They are uniformed officers who deal with issues such as anti-social behaviour, graffiti, fly-tipping and abandoned cars.

They also liaise with travellers when needed.

Meanwhile PCSOs are paid, uniformed officers who patrol areas and interact with the public. They do not have all of the same powers as police constables.

Asked if the plans are being put together to save money, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Potentially it might save money.
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Re: should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

Post by powdermonkey » Sat May 03, 2014 1:50 pm

I have quite a few questions about how this would work.
Would it be a new role?
Would council wardens become PCSO's or vice versa?
What powers do council wardens have - would these be increased or PCSO's have theirs decreased?
Who would be the employer, the council or the police?
What would the impact be on salaries, pensions, working hours etc?

What issues do the council wardens deal with that we, PCSO's or Police Officers, don't? Are council wardens necessary? My initial reaction is to say no to the plan, but I'd like to hear more detail.

The councillor's comment that "it might save money" makes me think the councillor wants the wardens to be employed by the police thus saving the council, but not the police, money. Assuming the same numbers of staff would still be required, the only way money would be saved is by reducing salaries and pensions.
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Re: should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

Post by CMTsgt » Sat May 03, 2014 2:58 pm

As a previous employee of the Hampshire Police as a Traffic many years ago my job went over to the Council in Portsmouth.
Portsmouth City Council, Will want to take control as they will see this as a MONEY making issue.
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Re: should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

Post by PI & GI » Sat May 03, 2014 5:20 pm

Load of BS, I just spent yesterday (a typical Friday night shift) being a deployable police resource in a marked van. will the council wardens d that? big mistake, im not a warden! if the council think all we do is 'interact' they need to spend time with us at a weekend, political rubbish me thinks.
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Re: should council wardens and PCSOs merge?

Post by NArf » Sun May 04, 2014 4:42 pm

Round my way, when PCSOs were introduced the council sacked all their wardens a few months later. The reasoning was that PCSOs were doing much the same job and with more powers.
The irony came about around 9 months later when the district council went on to employ four "community reassurance" PCSOs. These were officers trained by police, had the usual PCSO powers but worked to the agenda of the district council (mainly ASB around council amenities, if I may be so cynical for a moment). These guys had to write up a report at the end of each set detailing what they had done - basically justifying their job. Yet again, this was a short lived plan and after around 12 months later, the council withdrew the funding and they became police funded officers and got on with the job properly.

I don't see the idea of merging the jobs working out, not unless all the wardens are happy to become PCSOs which is what it would take. The other question is who is going to be funding them? I suspect as with above, council with later withdraw funding expecting the police to take them on. Fewer people for them to pay, and no severance pay either....
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