Plan to fund PCSOs is making progress

Police PCSO Stock SUS-150618-150246001
Police PCSO Stock SUS-150618-150246001

Attempts to provide council funding to enable the employment of two PCSOs to directly respond to issues in Bury are moving forward.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council has set aside £64,000 from its budget for 2016/17 to pay for the officers. By funding the roles the authority believes it will have greater involvement in deciding how the officers are utilised and the policing priorities they focus on.

During a recent meeting town councillors agreed to form a working party in order to fine tune its PCSO plan.

“No decision was made at the meeting,” said town clerk Julia Dyball. “A working party was formed and this will put forward recommendations to the full council in April.”

Suffolk Constabulary have announced proposals to cut 60 PCSO positions across the county in an effort to channel increased funding into employing full time police officers. The force needs to save £7.5million from its budget by 2020.

Frank Warby, vice-chairman of Bury St Edmunds town council, said the PCSOs would make a big difference to the town.

“The police do not have the man-power to cover all the issues in the town,” he said.

“By paying for the PCSOs we could get them to concentrate on areas such as car parking and being a visible presence.”

Leigh Jenkins, Suffolk Constabulary’s business liaison manager, attended the recent meeting to outline the duties PCSOs could undertake in the town.

Mr Warby, from Raedwald Drive, said police were very supportive of the council’s plans.

“This is not a whim, it is something constructive for the town and outlying estates,” he said.

“It is a work in progress and we want to do it right.”