Police commissioner promises to keep all of county’s PCSOs

Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd talks over issues with a PCSO

Herts police and crime commissioner David Lloyd talks over issues with a PCSO - Credit: Archant

A pledge to retain all Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) posts in Herts has come from the county’s commissioner.

With London and other parts of the country looking at reducing or even doing away with PCSOs in a bid to save money, Herts Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has confirmed that the county is committed to keeping all of its 228 PCSOs

He said: “Protecting local policing is at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan and PCSOs play a vital part in delivering it. The public have told me they greatly value their PCSOs and it is a role we need to keep.”

The number of PCSO posts is set to increase to 231 with the force actively recruiting to fill vacancies with intakes for training in November 2015 and February 2016.

PCSOs were introduced to help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and they have powers to confiscate drugs and alcohol, enter properties to save life and detain people under certain circumstances.

Although they don’t have powers of arrest, the aim was to deter crime with visible officers on foot patrol.

Superintendent Andrew McCracken, head of crime reduction and community safety for Herts Police, said: “In Hertfordshire there is an established an operating model that is keeping the county one of the safest in the country - with Neighbourhood Policing at the centre.

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“PCSOs are an integral part of Safer Neighbourhood Teams. They maintain direct links and build relationships with local communities that reinforces, supports and enhances the enforcement activities that can only be carried out by fully warranted police officers.”

In recent weeks cuts in the number of PCSOs have been announced in the West Midlands, Nottingham and Essex with the Met Police considering scrapping 1,000 PCSO posts in London as a cost-saving measure.