I read a report – Neighbourhood policing facing extinction – which stated that :
- More than 4500 police community support officers have been cut since 2010
- PCSO numbers have fallen by 30% in five years.
- Government want to rid the country of local police patrols
I believe this is going in the wrong direction. PCSO’s are the eyes and ears on our streets, they know their patch that they patrol every day and are accessible known and trusted by local people. They are available to talk with them about all the different concerns residents have in their communities.
As a councillor in Wirral South I work closely with our community police officers, on individual adult cases, youth and disabled issues, housing and anti social behaviour to name just a few of the many areas they get involved with.
Our officers contact the local shop keepers regularly, keeping them up to date with local crime and how better to deal with shop lifting etc.
They regularly attend our local primary schools where they discuss road safety, anti bullying and racism issues and generate good relationships between themselves, as our local law enforcement, and the children at an early age. This can only help in the efforts to produce future well rounded Wirral citizens.
They provide an invaluable police resource via intelligence gathering, and their local knowledge allows them to carry on protecting the public, not only in solving, but in some cases, preventing crime from escalating whilst ensuring justice is visibly achieved at street level.
I believe they are too valuable in our communities to disappear because of budget cuts. We need more not less to tackle the so called low level crime because if it is not dealt with at its earliest stages, these crime will escalate and multiply at an exponential rate.