Conservative councillors in Peterborough’s decision to vote down a motion calling for more neighbourhood policing cash is ‘deeply disappointing,’ says UNISON today.
Labour Councillor Ansar Ali tabled a motion last night expressing concern over job losses at Cambridgeshire Constabulary that will see PCSO numbers cut by half alongside the loss of enquiry officers and community safety officers.
But the Tory group in charge of the council has “swallowed the line” that cuts to police staff numbers will mean more warrant officers, says UNISON.
Last month all three candidates for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough police and crime commissioner, including Conservative Darryl Preston, issued a joint statement calling for the cuts to be postponed so they can be reviewed after elections in May.
UNISON warns that reducing police staff numbers will seriously damage neighbourhood policing and damage community relations.
The union says the extra central government cash promised to increase warrant officer numbers will only restore the police force to 2010 levels, when there were also more PCSOs making up the policing team.
UNISON Eastern regional organiser Alex Porter said: “It is deeply disappointing that the Conservatives have refused to stand up for neighbourhood policing and the safety of people in Peterborough.
“Council chiefs appear to have swallowed the line that these cuts will mean more bobbies on the beat, but it is simply not true.
“They should speak to their own candidate for police and crime commissioner who clearly understands the important role PCSOs and other police staff play in modern policing.
“Whether Peterborough Council believes it or not, we need more funding to avoid damaging cuts to the service. Politicians from across the political spectrum should be working together to ensure residents get the police service they need.”