PCSOs will be saved but what about the rest?

PCSOs facing the chop will be protected, promised the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

Government funding cuts of 20 per cent meant 40 per cent of Beds PCSOs were facing the axe, but commissioner Olly Martins said he was determined to save the “crucial resource”.

However, the chairman of the Beds Police Federation, Jim Mallens suggested fully warranted and trained police officers would offer a better service.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Martins said: “It has become abundantly clear to me just how valued PCSOs are in the communities they serve and how their presence contributes to feelings of safety and wellbeing for residents, particularly in rural areas. Public confidence is as important to policing as reducing offences and has a positive effect on quality of life. It is clear PCSOs are playing a key role in reassurance and reducing the fear of crime.”

Saving the PCSOs will cost around 6p a week for the average council tax band D householder.

Mr Martins said: “This small rise will help protect this highly respected element of local policing, while helping to ensure that we continue to make residents feel safe.

Mr Mallen said: “I recognise the contribution made by Beds PCSOs and the uniform visibility they offer the public. I do think that the residents of Beds would prefer to see fully warranted and trained police officers patrolling the streets. My members would have preferred for Mr Martins to retain some of the experienced and skilled police officers as opposed to PCSOs.”