Number of police community support officers in Hertfordshire drops by almost a third

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The number of police community support officers working for Hertfordshire Constabulary has dropped by 28 per cent since the Coalition government came into power.

There are currently 190 PCSOs working for Hertfordshire Constabulary, compared to 262 who worked for the force in March 2010.

Over the same period, the number of regular police officers has fallen by over 200 to 1899.

However, the Watford Observer understands that there is enough money to employ an additional 40 community support officers, with funding available for 232 officers.

Police estimate a community support officer costs in the region of £28,000 to £29,000, meaning there is in excess of £1million available for the potential recruitment of PCSOs.

Hertfordshire Constabulary said the establishment funding, the money the force provides, has remained the same but money being made available by partner organisations, such as local councils, the county council or parish councils, has dropped.

Colin Connolly, head of communications at the force, said: "A lot of our PCSOs were part funded or fully funded by partners. Where the partners have withdrawn that funding, we have withdrawn those posts. The constabulary funding has remained the same.

"Police community support officers are a valuable part of Hertfordshire’s safer neighbourhood team and Hertfordshire Constabulary remain committed to using PCSOs to tackle local issues of crime and disorder."

In a written statement Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd said: "I am determined to protect local policing across Hertfordshire and this includes the excellent work of our PCSOs who, I know, are very popular across the county. 

"This is why I have ensured establishment funding by the constabulary for PCSOs has been maintained and that we are aiming to recruit over 70 PCSOs in the coming year."

Hertfordshire County Council has confirmed it withdrew all funding from PCSO’s in 2012/2013.

Simon Hoggett, Press Officer at Hertfordshire County Council said: "It was done as part of the county council’s necessary cost savings to bring our budgets in line. There were cuts right across the board at the council, including jobs services and all sorts of things and this was one of the cost saving measures." 

The police suggest one of the reasons for the shortfall in officers, despite the money being available, is because the turnover of PCSO’s is extremely high, with a number of them becoming police officers.

In addition to the fall in the number of PCSOs, there has also been an 11 per cent drop in the number of positions available in the force.

In 2010, there was funding to provide 257 PCSOs, but this has fallen to 230 in March 2014.

Comments (7)

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7:32pm Wed 30 Apr 14

cgpc Rob says...

CGPC have two on the BOGOF offer, good value
CGPC have two on the BOGOF offer, good value cgpc Rob
  • Score: -1

10:01pm Wed 30 Apr 14

LSC says...

"Commissioner David Lloyd said: "I am determined to protect local policing across Hertfordshire and this includes the excellent work of our PCSOs who, I know, are very popular across the county."

What planet is this guy on? They may well do excellent work, and work very hard, but I assure you they are not popular.
Any normally law abiding citizen in trouble wants a REAL copper, with powers of arrest, full training, fitness, a knowledge of the law and some power of detection.

The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here.
"Commissioner David Lloyd said: "I am determined to protect local policing across Hertfordshire and this includes the excellent work of our PCSOs who, I know, are very popular across the county." What planet is this guy on? They may well do excellent work, and work very hard, but I assure you they are not popular. Any normally law abiding citizen in trouble wants a REAL copper, with powers of arrest, full training, fitness, a knowledge of the law and some power of detection. The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here. LSC
  • Score: 5

11:07am Thu 1 May 14

LocalBoy1 says...

"PCSOs were part funded or fully funded by partners" Maybe the partners felt it was better to give the money to Brussels to fund things like the idiot EHRC
"PCSOs were part funded or fully funded by partners" Maybe the partners felt it was better to give the money to Brussels to fund things like the idiot EHRC LocalBoy1
  • Score: -2

12:47pm Thu 1 May 14

garston tony says...

LSC wrote:
"Commissioner David Lloyd said: "I am determined to protect local policing across Hertfordshire and this includes the excellent work of our PCSOs who, I know, are very popular across the county." What planet is this guy on? They may well do excellent work, and work very hard, but I assure you they are not popular. Any normally law abiding citizen in trouble wants a REAL copper, with powers of arrest, full training, fitness, a knowledge of the law and some power of detection. The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here.
But the same people that call PCSO names are usually not exactly polite about the police (or any authority, and indeed often anyone at all for that matter) either. I dont think they are the type of people you should be using as barometers of public feelings about something!

What is far more likely is that the majority of people whilst they may have seen them walking around town etc have had nothing to do with them so actually have no opinion about PCSO's. Or if they do have negative opinions its because they believe what the moaning ninnies say about them.

Due to some of the things I do I know a number of people who have seen them in action and or have received support from them and i've seen them for myself and i've not heard or got a single bad word said about them. My experience is that they do a great job. Not saying that they do do it right 100% of the time, but who does?

But I also think it is a good idea to have a layer of support that can deal with the in relative terms 'smaller' stuff allowing the more highly trained police officers to make better use of their time.
[quote][p][bold]LSC[/bold] wrote: "Commissioner David Lloyd said: "I am determined to protect local policing across Hertfordshire and this includes the excellent work of our PCSOs who, I know, are very popular across the county." What planet is this guy on? They may well do excellent work, and work very hard, but I assure you they are not popular. Any normally law abiding citizen in trouble wants a REAL copper, with powers of arrest, full training, fitness, a knowledge of the law and some power of detection. The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here.[/p][/quote]But the same people that call PCSO names are usually not exactly polite about the police (or any authority, and indeed often anyone at all for that matter) either. I dont think they are the type of people you should be using as barometers of public feelings about something! What is far more likely is that the majority of people whilst they may have seen them walking around town etc have had nothing to do with them so actually have no opinion about PCSO's. Or if they do have negative opinions its because they believe what the moaning ninnies say about them. Due to some of the things I do I know a number of people who have seen them in action and or have received support from them and i've seen them for myself and i've not heard or got a single bad word said about them. My experience is that they do a great job. Not saying that they do do it right 100% of the time, but who does? But I also think it is a good idea to have a layer of support that can deal with the in relative terms 'smaller' stuff allowing the more highly trained police officers to make better use of their time. garston tony
  • Score: 4

1:07pm Thu 1 May 14

LocalBoy1 says...

The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here................ I think LSC is referring to one or two of the infamous council estates we have in Watford. It has been my experience that these areas have NO respect for anyone or anything.
The PCSOs might have a place in the community but around here the kids just laugh at them, calling them 'Hobby Bobbies', 'Plastic Police' and 'The Tesco Value Squad'. They use other names too, but I doubt they could be published on here................ I think LSC is referring to one or two of the infamous council estates we have in Watford. It has been my experience that these areas have NO respect for anyone or anything. LocalBoy1
  • Score: 1

4:50pm Thu 1 May 14

cgpc Rob says...

In Croxley Green ours hold surgeries so that residents can attend, speak and raise concerns, one has now progressed as a police officer, they are a means of obtaining local intel and then acting on it, by attending local hotspots.
In Croxley Green ours hold surgeries so that residents can attend, speak and raise concerns, one has now progressed as a police officer, they are a means of obtaining local intel and then acting on it, by attending local hotspots. cgpc Rob
  • Score: 0

5:04pm Thu 1 May 14

LocalBoy1 says...

cgpc Rob wrote:
In Croxley Green ours hold surgeries so that residents can attend, speak and raise concerns, one has now progressed as a police officer, they are a means of obtaining local intel and then acting on it, by attending local hotspots.
Have you any idea of the vast difference between Croxley Green and Croxley View for example? You think this would work on Council Estates?
[quote][p][bold]cgpc Rob[/bold] wrote: In Croxley Green ours hold surgeries so that residents can attend, speak and raise concerns, one has now progressed as a police officer, they are a means of obtaining local intel and then acting on it, by attending local hotspots.[/p][/quote]Have you any idea of the vast difference between Croxley Green and Croxley View for example? You think this would work on Council Estates? LocalBoy1
  • Score: 0

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