Commissioner urges partners to keep funding PCSOS16 December, 2014
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw is urging partners to continue to help fund police and community support officer roles (PCSOs) across the county.
In a letter to all funding partners the Commissioner said: “A key part of my role is to set the budget for Lancashire Police and in 2014/15 I ring-fenced £9.2m towards PCSO funding while partners committed further funding to these roles. This allowed the constabulary to employ 335 PCSOs across Lancashire – 155 of which were part funded.”
The Commissioner continued: “PCSOs provide a valuable resource and a visible police presence in and around Lancashire, making residents feel safer in their local area and helping to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. They also provide vital local contact with communities on policing issues.
“Without funding from partners I think it is likely that around 70 roles may be at risk and this may lead to an increase in incidents of anti-social behaviour or other crimes across the county.”
The Commissioner who is responsible for setting the police budget and holding the Chief Constable to account for the work of the police, is currently consulting the public on the police precept – the part of the council tax bill that goes towards policing costs.
Faced with an additional £20m of savings to be found by 2017/18 on top of the £60m already saved, the Commissioner is asking residents if they would consider paying an additional 6p per week towards their council tax to help make up some of the shortfall.
He said: “The message from Government is clear – we are going to be faced with more cuts to our funding and inevitably that will lead to less staff. By increasing council tax slightly and securing partnership funding, it will go some way to mitigating these cuts, although it will not stop job losses altogether.
“I have pledged my funding for PCSOS will be maintained and I would urge our partners to continue with their funding so that we can maintain the number of PCSOs at current levels and help keep our local areas safe.”