Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Lorne Green has been forced to apologise after insulting the 150 PCSOs in the county are who under threat of redundancy.
At a public meeting held Long Stratton on Tuesday the Conservative PCC said that he would not employ more PCSOs even if he had “all the money in the world”. He also claimed that PCSOs didn’t have “the flexibility and skills necessary to deal with 21st century crime in this county.”
Regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said that Mr Green had no option other than to apologise after his comment and for making claims about PCSOs that were disappointing, surprising and foolhardy.
“Disappointing because PCSOs have been working diligently for years on neighbourhood policing and have a very successful partnership with the communities they work in and the warranted officers they work alongside.
“Surprising because the Norfolk and Suffolk police forces are collaborating very closely and the Suffolk force has recently confirmed its intention to keep its PCSO workforce.
“Foolhardy since research by Cambridge University Institute of Criminology shows that PCSOs are extremely good value for money within neighbourhood policing.”
Following the PCC’s comments Caren Reeves, Norfolk police branch secretary, said, “Shame on Lorne Green, who has kicked the legs from under long serving, dedicated and loyal employees with an unfeeling and thoughtless throwaway comment.
“Despite worrying about how they are going to provide for themselves and their families after 31st March next year they are still coming into work and carrying out their demanding jobs in a professional manner.
“Shame on Lorne Green for dismissing the 15 years of hard work put in by our PCSOs to become a trusted, welcomed and appreciated part of Norfolk’s police service.”