On the beat - Beat manager Martin Hudd
THE announcement last week that the lord mayor had decided with the help and backing of the new police commissioner to continue funding police community support officers for at least another year was, in my mind, a decision for common sense.
There are always very hard decisions to be made when funding is cut to any organisation and some painful decisions will always have to be made, no matter how unpopular they may seem at the time.
Whilst other areas of funding may have to be cut in an attempt to balance the books and allow the number of PCSOs to remain within our organisation, this, I feel, will be seen as a benefit to the public in general, if the public swell of support for them is anything to go by. The public will continue to see the reassuring presence of these officers out and about on our streets.
I was present during the inception of PCSOs and have seen the progress made within the police service by them. Through the support of their colleagues this progress will no doubt continue.
Fantastic Savings on New Fuseboards, £28-00 off with this voucher...View details
Make your home and family safe from £280 (Less £28 with voucher) A modern fuse board offers protection from overload, AND SHOCK PROTECTION, by monitoring your electrics and appliances you plug in.
Terms: NIC EIC certificates and part P notification provided within the above price. The price relates to fuseboards up to 8 ways fitted within the Bristol and Bath areas.
Contact: 0117 2448240
Valid until: Friday, May 24 2013
I currently supervise three PCSOs on my beat and it is with hand on heart that I say without them I would not be able to deliver the quality of service to my local residents which I feel they have become accustomed to.
They organise and attend meetings, promote crime prevention schemes, carry out reassurance visits to victims of crime and vulnerable persons and gather information and intelligence which has led to drugs warrants being executed and crime being reduced in previously high crime areas.
The criticism levelled at PCSOs when they were first introduced, stating they were no more than plastic police officers who were ineffective due to the lack of powers afforded to them by chief constables, seems to have dissipated as the public now appear to realise the role of the PCSO in their community.
It is a testament to my PCSOs that on more than one occasion whilst I have been out and about, local residents have asked after them by name and have then gone on to tell me about an incident where they had been helped out by that officer and how grateful they were to them.
There is no doubt that each year, as the funding made available to various councils is reduced, the questions over the funding of PCSOs will be once again thrust into the spotlight.
From a PCSO's point of view it cannot be a nice feeling to wonder year after year if their jobs will be safe.
This is nothing new to them, as these questions have been asked in the past, but take a look at your local PCSO and ask yourself has this led to a decrease in the enthusiasm and support they have offered their communities.
You will find yourselves answering "no" and that is why they are such an important addition to both you and me.