PCSOs saved to walk the beat another day

The new police and crime commissioner, Olly Martins, has saved dozens of jobs.

By Ellen Frampton
Sunday, 3rd February 2013, 3:00 pm

Mr Martins met with Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on Thursday (January 31) to tell them that their jobs have been saved.

Forty percent had faced the axe under the cost cutting plans of the previous police authority. Mr Martins told the PCSOs that they are “the face of policing.”

He said: “I’ve just won an election when I’ve spent a lot of time talking at people.

“One of the things I kept going on about was visible policing. You are the visible face. I’m very pleased to be able to deliver on that.”

The importance of PCSOs was also highlighted to him by councillors throughout Bedfordshire.

He added: “It was important to get the word out as soon as possible so you know your future is secure.

“The current establishment of PCSOs – I think it’s 108 that are going to stay – that is back in the budget permanently. No question marks. No reviews.

“It’s important work you do, reassuring the public and getting involved with local issues.”

Mr Martins believes that PCSOS are crucial not only for fighting crime but also for reducing the fear of crime.

He will be meeting with more PCSOs in the coming weeks to talk to them about local policing needs and how their work is helping to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

The PCSOs will be funded by a two per cent rise in the police precept in Bedfordshire.

This equates to six pence per week for the average Band D householder.

Bedfordshire Police will have to reduce its costs by £7 million over the next three years as a result of government cuts to the main policing grant.

The commissioner declined the government’s incentive grant to freeze council tax because it would have left the force £1.5 million worse off over the next four years.