Following reports that some police forces are cutting or losing their Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire has confirmed that the county is committed to keeping all of its 228 Police Community Support Officer posts.
Commissioner David Lloyd said: “Protecting local policing is at the heart of my Police and Crime Plan and PCSOs play a vital part in delivering it. The public have told me they greatly value their PCSOs and it is a role we need to keep.”
The Constabulary has an establishment of 228 PCSOs and now is actively recruiting to some current fill vacancies, with intakes for training in November 2015 and February 2016. This will take the actual number of posts to 231, allowing for any leavers in the year ahead.
In Hertfordshire there is an established an operating model that is keeping the county one of the safest in the country - with Neighbourhood Policing at the centre. PCSOs are an integral part of Safer Neighbourhood Teams. They maintain direct links and build relationships with local communities that reinforces, supports and enhances the enforcement activities that can only be carried out by fully warranted police officers.
Some recent examples of PCSOs’ work: One school said about a PCSO helping with their Slow 4 Schools road safety initiative: “He has shown commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism in all areas including interacting with parents, residents, District and County Councillors and drivers and delivering assemblies to pupils. He is a wonderful ambassador for the police. The week would not have been anywhere near as successful if he hadn't been part of it and I look forward to working with him again on this or similar initiatives in the future.”
A resident said: “I have recently had the unfortunate experience of being burgled - a traumatic event that left me feeling vulnerable. However, out of every negative there is a positive and on that county I would wish to commend the Police and Community Support Officers who have been involved. The kindness and professionalism afforded me has made an immense difference …. Sensitive to my plight and extremely helpful in ensuring my home was secure.”
A senior police office for a Hertfordshire borough praised a PCSO: “My sincere gratitude in your good work which has resulted in two arrested for what appears to a possible Organised Crime Group. Your professionalism and sharing of the information has resulted in you making the difference to the communities we serve.”
An off-duty PCSO spotted a high risk missing person from Stevenage while in London. Because he knew the man locally and had built a rapport, he was able to persuade him to wait for the police in London to collect him and return him safely to Stevenage for help and support.
If anyone wishes to contact the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner they can email: firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 01707 806100 or write to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, Harpenden Police Station, 15 Vaughan Road, Hertfordshire, AL5 4GZ.
You can also follow the Commissioner on Twitter @HertsPCC and find out more on his Facebook page: HertsPCC.