Agenda item

Police Community Support Officer (PCSO)

Report of the Executive Member for Community, Leisure and Culture.

Minutes:

The report outlined a request from Norfolk Constabulary for funding towards the Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) services and related Safer Neighbourhood role.

 

Breckland Council had contributed £25,000 over the past 3 years towards the cost of the provision of PCSOs in Breckland.  This funding had greatly assisted with the overall shortfall of central funding for these valuable resources.  Norfolk Constabulary was now requesting the same amount of funding for 2007/2008.  However, a letter had been received from Chief Inspector Tony Cherington assuring the Council that this would be the last year this funding would be requested as the PCSOs funding would be mainstreamed in the constabulary budget in future years.

 

The creation of PCSOs had been successful and had achieved the following:-

 

·              Attleborough – the PCSOs had solved problems in Norfolk Drive with a new neighbourhood agreement which formed part of the tenancy for residents.  Since the agreement the anti-social behaviour had stopped anti-social behaviour.

 

·              Thetford – the Town Centre Designated Drinking Area was being enforced which had led to a reduction in violent crime and anti-social behaviour associated with the night time economy.

 

·              Dereham – Pub Watch had been launched with Breckland Licensing Section which provided radios linked into CCTV and existing shopwatch.  There were plans to expand into late night refreshment houses and taxi firms.

·              Watton – there had been successful intervention around the Bull Public House in the High Street and conditions had been placed on the licence to curb anti-social behaviour and offences associated to premises.

·              SwaffhamPCSOs were being involved in community clean-up in an area suffering litter, discarded needles and general unsightliness.

·              Rural Areas – the team had dealt with complaints from rural schools concerning inconsiderate parking and speeding through villages and rural hotspots of criminal damage.

 

Members agreed that the PCSOs had been a success but were pleased that this was the last year funding would be requested as it was a form of double taxation as the police already received a percentage of the Council Tax. 

 

Concern was raised with regard to the number of police officers who were on duty during the weekend as it was felt that the market towns and villages within Breckland were left exposed to crime and disorder during this time.

 

The Democratic Services Manager informed Members that the Attleborough Designated Drinking Area had just soon come into effect and there was a proposal to expand the Thetford area.

 

The options were to either support or decline the request for a contribution towards funding the Breckland Police Community Support Officers

 

The reasons for the recommendations were that the results of many surveys carried out by Breckland and national surveys clearly demonstrated the public want to see more uniformed officers on the beat and request relevant authorities take actions to reduce crime, the fear of crime and tackle quality of life issues which were important for the wellbeing of the communities.  The project fitted well with the Council’s aims and objectives for statutory obligations under Section 17 of the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act.

 

Furthermore, the role of the Police Community Support Officers compliments the Local Authorities enforcement and statutory duties and would assist the Council in meeting its objectives to improve quality of life for all residents.

 

RESOLVED that Norfolk Constabulary’s request of a contribution of £25,000 towards the Policy Community Support Officers support in Breckland Safer Neighbourhoods be approved and that this will be a one off payment for 2007/08 only from the Council’s Match Funding Reserve.

Supporting documents: