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PCSO funding will be protected says Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

The number of police community support officers patrolling the city’s streets will be protected until 2016.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has ring-fenced funding for the district’s 80 PCSOs to ensure they are not affected by ongoing budget cuts.

West Yorkshire Police has already been forced to find savings of £64m after its policing grant was reduced by 20 per cent.

And this year it will have to cut its spending by a further £18m to balance the books.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “PCSOs working as part of our neighbourhood police teams with police constables provide an invaluable service in our communities and I have pledged to protect neighbourhood policing which is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan.

“I understand the pressures that councils and partners are under with severe government cuts to all our budgets and I am working closely with council leaders to secure their level of funding.

“But it is not just about protecting the numbers of frontline officers and staff but about making sure we deliver a better service in our communities by working with our partner agencies.

“This is important work to make sure our communities are safer and feel safer.”

Wakefield Council currently provides £300,000 in funding towards 33 out of the 80 PCSOs that work across the district.

Chief Con Mark Gilmore said: “I am pleased that this funding has been guaranteed for the next three years. PCSOs do a great job as part of our NPTs.”

Eighty-one per cent of PCSOs questioned by UNISON said they need additional powers to enable them to do their jobs effectively, the union claimed this week.

 

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