The MP for Chesterfield and Staveley, Toby Perkins, has joined with PCSOs across the country to celebrate the great work they do in the community.
Police Community Support Officers were created in 2002 through the Police Reform Act and have sought to work in an important role of community policing and preventative services. Whether it be visible patrols, dealing with anti-social behaviour or working with local schools; they play a vital role in the community
However, as Unison celebrated the work of PCSOs have made over the last twenty years, the austerity regime since the introduction of this government has had a significant impact on the role and effectiveness of PCSOs.
National statistics show that PCSOs are a somewhat more diverse group than most diverse groups within policing, with 10% of PCSOs from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic communities compared to 8% within officers and police staff.
Speaking to PCSOs from across different forces in England, Toby Perkins heard how cuts have left many PCSOs covering larger patches with fewer staff.
Toby said “It’s obvious how important PCSOs are to communities. They provide key services and reassurances to the public in visible patrols and work closely with the communities they serve. I’m glad that we are celebrating 20 years of PCSOs on our streets. I remember when PCSOs were first deployed to Chesterfield and Staveley and saw the marked improvement that they had on our communities.”
He continued “Whilst it is important to use this time to celebrate the hard-work and contribution that PCSOs have made, there should also be a recovery in PCSO numbers to recognise the role they have played in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
We have seen a 45% decline in PCSOs across England caused in-part by a reduction of 30% to police grants from central government, which reduces PCSOs local knowledge and effectiveness and undermines the police’s efforts to keep our communities safe.”