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Loss of PCSO’s due to Tory cuts

February 24, 2012 4:02 PM

The decision by Conservatives on Leicestershire County Council to cut support for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) has been condemned by local Liberal Democrats. The decision was passed at Wednesday's Leicestershire County Council budget meeting. Liberal Democrat County Councillors voted against the plans.

The Council originally funded additional PCSOs in every borough and district across Leicestershire from a reduction in Council Tax discounts on second homes. Liberal Democrats believe that PCSO's provide a vital link between all the agencies with responsibility for Community Safety. We all know in these difficult times savings have to be made, but this cut by Tory bosses is likely to lead to fewer PCSOs on our streets.

Simon Galton, Leader of the Lib Dem group said, "PCSOs have made a huge contribution to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in Leicestershire. They provide a regular uniformed street presence in many local communities which is something the public say they want. I cannot understand why the Conservatives at County Hall are willing to put at risk what has been achieved through partnership working between the Police and the County and district councils.

County Councillor Stuart Bray (Lib Dem, Burbage Castle) said "This is a disgraceful decision by Conservative county councillors. One of the main deterrents to crime and anti-social behaviour locally is the team of PCSOs that patrol local streets and help local police officers spot people who are up to no good.

"The County Council is keeping £87 million in the bank and has over £6m underspend; it seems the Tories priorities are out of step with local communities on crime and community safety. Cutting PCSOs will make people feel even less safe."

Local Lib Dems have launched a petition calling on County Hall Conservatives to change reverse the decision. People can sign an online petition opposing the cuts to PCSOs at http://www.campaigns.libdems.org.uk/SavePCSOs