POLICE COMMISSIONER Kim McGuinness has announced the welcome news that dozens of Northumbria’s PCSO posts that were under threat will now be saved – but warns the fight is still on to secure more long-term funding for Northumbria Police.
Enhanced neighbourhood policing plans are now set to save 98 PCSO posts, an uplift of 38 on the original 60 posts the force said it would be able to save in March.
Since then, additional grant funding for recruitment has been secured, allowing the force to save more PCSOs than it had previously thought possible.
Plans earlier this year also announced 134 new warranted police officers will be invested into the new neighbourhood policing model to boost police visibility and help prevent crime. This number remains unchanged.
The news will be welcomed by communities across the Northeast who also value the presence of PCSOs in their neighbourhoods.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “We’ve evaluated neighbourhood policing plans in great detail and taken valued feedback on board. To my relief – we have good news – we secured funding for recruitment which thankfully means our PCSO numbers can take less of a hit than we feared. We are now in a financial position where we can retain 38 more PCSOs than we thought.
“We still need more police officers, and police staff supporting them, but until Government funds our police force properly and gives us back our cops we are in uncertain times. Many people and their families are impacted by this. And we still have £10 million we need to save through efficiencies.”
“Like so many others, I really value what our PCSOs bring to local communities and being able to keep nearly 100 in post means we are in a much better place.”
She added: “On another positive note, with smashing targets for recruiting more police officers and now retaining more of our highly valued PCSOs, people can expect to see more of those in uniform out on the streets preventing and fighting crime in their area. As best we can, the Chief Constable and I will keep delivering the visible policing the people of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear expect and deserves.”