PCSO roles are safe, for now

Ax­ing de­ci­sion de­layed un­til De­cem­ber

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

HILLING­DON’S 25 po­lice com­mu­nity sup­port of­fi­cers (PCSOs) have been spared from the axe, at least un­til De­cem­ber.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice bosses warned that it might be nec­es­sary to scrap all 629 of the roles across the cap­i­tal un­der belt-tight­en­ing mea­sures.

But at the Man­age­ment Board meet­ing last Tues­day (Septem­ber 29) the de­ci­sion was pushed back un­til the end of the year. Hilling­don’s Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber, Dr Onkar Sa­hota (Labour), wel­comed the re­prieve but added: “There is no doubt the spend­ing cuts be­ing made by this Gov­ern­ment could have a ter­ri­ble im­pact on Lon­don’s po­lice force. They are putting great strain on the po­lice force and it’s time the Home Sec­re­tary un­der­stood that the dec­i­ma­tion of neigh­bour­hood polic­ing is not a price the Lon­don public are will­ing to pay.”

David Brough, chair­man of the Hayes Town Part­ner­ship, also thinks los­ing PCSOs would be a “great step back­wards”.

He said: “One of the ar­gu­ments in favour of them was they could get to know the com­mu­nity and win the con­fi­dence of the com­mu­nity in a way that some­times po­lice of­fi­cers were fail­ing to do.

“There’s one par­tic­u­lar PCSO in Hayes, He­len Mo­ra­han, who’s the model of what it’s all about. Ev­ery­body speaks so highly of her be­cause she talks to peo­ple, she lis­tens and she gets things done. And they’re in dan­ger of throw­ing that all away.”

Alan Ray­mond Palmer, founder of the Crime Aware­ness Group for Ruis­lip and East­cote, said the loss of PCSOs would be a “nail in the cof­fin for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties”.

He added: “It high­lights yet again how badly our gov­ern­ment and those who choose to rep­re­sent us are let­ting us down.

“Last win­ter our lo­cal po­lice were over­whelmed by a spike in bur­glar­ies.

“If PCSOs are done away with, our lo­cal po­lice ba­si­cally have no one to re­as­sure the public on the ground.

“Groups like ours will be­come even more im­por­tant in the fight against crime.”

Last week

Lon­don’s deputy mayor for polic­ing, Stephen Green­halgh told the Gazette that tough choices needed to be made but added that any change in po­lice num­bers would “have to be made pow­er­fully along­side a public con­sul­ta­tion”.

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