Sunday, 30 August 2009

CALL FOR ‘FAIR DEAL’ ON PCSO NUMBERS


Birkdale Councillor Simon Shaw is a newly appointed member of the Merseyside Police Authority (MPA) and has been working hard with Southport’s Lib Dem MP John Pugh to get a fair deal over Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) numbers locally.

A month ago the unwelcome news emerged that the number of PCSOs in Sefton is due to be cut from 76 to 58 – a reduction of 18 staff. The reason for this was that Sefton Council has recently stopped paying towards 18 so-called “partner-funded” PCSOs. Sefton Council had received time-limited grant from the Government which paid for them, but this was only for two years until March 2009.

At the recent August meeting of the MPA, Simon called for the Chief Constable to report back to the next meeting explaining the basis on which PCSOs are allocated to the 5 districts of Merseyside.

Simon’s action as a member of the Police Authority follows on from John Pugh’s letter to the Chief Constable at the beginning of August (see below). In his letter to Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe, John points out that, proportionate to population Sefton had significantly fewer PCSOs than other parts of the Merseyside police force area.

“What this did expose is that, putting the partner-funded PCSOs to one side, Sefton appears to be getting a raw deal on its allocation of centrally funded PCSOs. I am very grateful to John for the constructive efforts he has put into this,” says Simon.

“In fact, it has been interesting to contrast John’s considered and intelligent approach with that of one leading Southport Conservative who has spent the month of August repeatedly criticising the local Police in the newspapers.”


The full text of John Pugh's letter to the Chief Constable can be found on the 'download section of the website