The Metropolitan Police are considering proposals that would see all Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) across the capital scrapped. This could have a serious impact on police levels across the borough of Bromley.
The Government is forcing the Met to make £800 million worth of cuts over the next few years, which has led them to look into the prospect of axing the role of PCSOs in the capital. They will meet on Tuesday 29th September at their regular board meeting to discuss the plans in detail. They will also look at other cost-saving recommendations, including reducing the number of London PCSOs to a total of just 629.
There is already strong opposition to the proposals throughout the capital and within the local area. There are currently more than 1,000 PCSOs working in London, with 55 of them based in Bromley. Since May 2010, the borough has had the number of their PCSOs cut by 104.
Len Duvall, the Labour London Assembly member for the constituency that covers areas in Bromley and Bexley, is staunchly opposed to the Met’s plans to remove PCSOs altogether. He believes that this would leave neighbourhood policing teams with only one police officer per ward. Three years ago, this figure was six, with wards having a sergeant, two PCs, and three PCSOs.
What are your feelings about the Met’s plans to cut the number of PCSOs? Do you believe that they play a valuable role in the community?