Over 300 community support officer (PCSO) jobs in the east of England since 2010, leaving the public with little or no reassurance over safety, according to a UNISON report published today (Tuesday).
The report – More trouble in the neighbourhood – shows there has been a 22 per cent reduction in the number of PCSOs in the east of England, with 330 jobs being cut since 2010.
As PCSOs make up 75 per cent of the neighbourhood policing teams that keep communities safe, such drastic cuts have had a huge impact on the ability of police forces across England to patrol our streets, says UNISON.
UNISON regional organiser Lorraine Kalaher said: “People feel safer when there is a visible and reassuring police presence on the beat.
“But four years of savage cuts to PCSOs mean that nearly one in four police patrols have been withdrawn from our neighbourhoods since 2010. If the Conservatives are returned to power next week the harsh police spending cuts they are proposing would see many more PCSOs cut.
“This government has shown no interest in protecting frontline police despite its promises to do. Ministers’ obsession with cuts is now placing the public at greater risk. With fewer PCSOs, vital evidence and intelligence gathering will be lost and fewer crimes solved.
“Five more years of a Conservative government would sound the death knell for neighbourhood policing – upon which so many people rely.
“We are repeating our on call on Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to investigate the impact of these cuts on thequality of the service.”
More trouble in the neighbourhood is part of a wider UNISON study looking at the impact of local government spending cuts, which is due to be published tomorrow (Wednesday).
Notes to editors:
More trouble in the neighbourhood is available here http://www.unison.org.uk/documents/4551
In March 2010 in the east of England – there were 1480 police community support officers in post. In September 2014 – their number fell to 1150.
Numbers by each county at the same dates: Beds 116 – 97; Cambs: 209 – 155; Essex 445 – 280; Herts 262 – 209; Norfolk 275 – 234; Suffolk 173 – 175.
East of England wide: Lorraine Kalaher, regional organiser 07908 672 906
Beds: Lorraine Kalaher, regional organiser 07908 672 906
Cambs: Paul Farley, regional organiser, 07939 001 406
Essex: Tracey Sparkes, regional organiser, 07908 142 814
Herts: Jo Weiss, regional organiser, 07908 675 426
Norfolk: Paul Farley, regional organiser, 07939 001 406
Suffolk: Paul Farley, regional organiser, 07939 001 406