‘Keep PCSOs on the streets’ says leader

Fleetwood and Wyre PCSOs outside Fleetwood Police Station (from left) Jeanette Ashurst, Becky Ainsworth and Alison Williams.
Fleetwood and Wyre PCSOs outside Fleetwood Police Station (from left) Jeanette Ashurst, Becky Ainsworth and Alison Williams.

CALLS to keep a vital crime-fighting service on the streets of Wyre have been made by the leader of the council.

Previously secured funding for the borough’s Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) is set to end in March 2013.

But Coun Peter Gibson has met with Clive Grunshaw, the new Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, to ensure the cash is kept on for the service, which it is claimed has helped build bridges with communities in Wyre.

Coun Gibson said: “The big difference they make in an area like ours, which is essentially a low crime area, is their presence on the street.

“They get an excellent service of information and they get to know the area.

“If residents know of a drug deal they might tell a PCSO to pass on the information.”

At the moment, Wyre Council part-funds the PCSOs, with the number of officers determined by the chief constable.

The meeting also addressed the way funding is allocated for PCSOs.

Coun Gibson added: “Since PCSOs were first introduced Wyre Council has given the police more than £1m of support.

“Yet one of our neighbours pays anything and are still allocated more officers than us.

“This system is simply not fair.

“We have asked Clive to make sure our residents get a better deal.”

Garry Payne, chief executive of Wyre Council, added: “In terms of the PCSOs funded by police, that money is ring fenced but it ends in 2013.

“Mr Grunshaw says he wants to keep PCSOs but the system is not the best for Wyre, so I want him to look at it so we get a fair share of officers.”

Mr Grunshaw added: “I have said to local council leaders, to help them plan their budgets, that I will commit the match funding needed to keep the joint funded PCSOs in communities.

“I appreciate the support Wyre Council has given the constabulary in part funding PCSO posts and, as with my meeting with Peter Gibson, I will be having a number of conversations in the coming weeks in respect of on-going and future provision.”

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