- 2018 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
- 6 August 2018
This conference is appalled by the decision of Suffolk Police in removing over 50% of its PCSO workforce. PCSOs are the visible face of policing in the community dealing with more than just Anti-Social Behaviour and low level crime. PCSOs are vital to providing much needed intelligence that may not be forthcoming if they are removed. Others services in the community have been cut or removed which means the public will have no access to vital public services, thus creating an environment that will be adrift from main stream society and bring about more crime and disorder.
Suffolk Police claim they are listening to the public and will be introducing 100 more police officers into Neighbourhood Policing. Police Staff know only too well that they will never replace or undertake the work that is done by PCSOs. It takes two years to train a Police Officer and about 6 months or more for them to get through the recruiting process. The removal of PCSOs will see a gap in community policing for up to 3 years; who will fill that gap? What will be the consequences of that vacuum?
Conference therefore calls upon the SGE to:
1) Raise awareness in our membership, the press and public about the consequences of the reduction of PCSOs in Suffolk.
2. Liaise with Labour Link and the Campaign Fund seeking support for a campaign against the reduction of PCSOs in the police service.
3. Give continued support to Suffolk Police Branch in fighting these cuts.
4. Monitor crime and ASB rates in Norfolk and Suffolk where PCSOs have been removed.
5. Liaise with the NPCC, APCC and the LGA for the purpose of raising the issues identified in the reduction of PCSOs and the effect on community policing.
6. Encourage Police branches to send messages of support to Suffolk Police Branch and to support their campaign where possible.