Joy as ‘invaluable’ Redbridge PCSOs here to stay after Met scraps cuts plan

Arham Khalid with PCSO's Linda Joyce and Julia Fanshaw

Arham Khalid with PCSO's Linda Joyce and Julia Fanshaw - Credit: Archant

Police in Redbridge received an early Christmas present when it was revealed that London’s Police Community Support Officers would not be scrapped.

Speaking at a meeting of the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe revealed that the 649 PCSOs attached to Neighbourhood teams in the capital were safe from redundancy.

Neighbourhood Watch Chairman, Mark Glazer, welcomed the news that the borough’s 43 PCSOs were no longer under threat from wide-reaching government cuts.

“I think it’s a very good thing because quite honestly the PCSOs are the police’s only link with the community. It’s in the name.” said Mr Glazer.

The community support officers also play a vital role in promoting Neighbourhood Watch membership, and Mr Glazer estimated that the work of PCSOs has helped the organisation reach around 2,500 Redbridge residents they otherwise would not have.

He said: “They’re invaluable and we would struggle massively if we did not have them.”

Redbridge has the fifth largest number of PCSOs in London, but has lost 62 per cent of its community support officers since 2010.

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Now however, it seems that the remaining positions are safe for the immediate future.

PCSO Julia Farnsworth, of the Clementswood Neighbourhood Policing Team, was understandably pleased with the news.

In a newsletter, she said: “I wish to thank all those who have supported us, whether it be with kind words or completing the online petitions that may have come your way.”

Joanne McCartney, Labour’s London Assembly Policing spokeswoman, said the move would have ended neighbourhood policing.

“PCSOs play an incredibly important intelligence gathering role and scrapping them entirely would have been an absolute disaster,” she added.

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