Number of PCSOs in Redbridge drops by half

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 March 2016

Police have arrested a man in conncetion to a fatal accident on the M25  Picture: PA/Joe Giddens

Police have arrested a man in conncetion to a fatal accident on the M25 Picture: PA/Joe Giddens

PA/Press Association Images

The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Redbridge has been slashed by more than 60 per cent over the last five years, as the Metropolitan Police looks to make cuts of £1.4bn by 2020.

In May 2010, there were 111 PCSOs on the borough’s streets.

As of December 2015, there are 42, a decrease of 62pc.

PCSOs are civilian members of police staff who have different powers to police officers, but are full-time members of staff.

They work on the frontline to tackle anti-social behaviour and quality of life issues, enabling police officers to devote their time to more complicated offences.

In March 2015, more than a third of respondents in Redbridge said they were “worried” or “very worried” about crime in the area in the Met Police Public Attitude survey.

The number of people volunteering as special police constables in the borough has also decreased greatly in the last two years.

Special constables are part-time volunteers who work alongside regular police officers and have similar police powers.

New statistics reveal that there were 62 fewer specials patrolling the borough’s streets in December, compared to two years earlier.

The Met said 30pc of constables had left to become full-time police officers but that the force was carrying out a review to understand why the number has fallen so greatly.

Nationally, the number of specials has decreased by 43pc from 5,752 in May 2012 to 3,523 in December 2015.

Cmdr Lucy D’Orsi, from Territorial Policing, MPS, said the volunteering sector is more competitive than it has ever been.

She said: “We are considering how to make the recruitment, training and role of MSC officers more flexible and attractive in order to increase recruitment and retention.

“We have already reduced the recruitment time frame.”

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