News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Friday, June 15, 2007

Kent Police face cuts

Kent Police has lost its battle to persuade the government not to renage on budget commitments. As a result, Kent will lose out on the planned additional 201 Police Community Support Officers planned for the county by April next year.

PCSOs are no substitute for proper community police officers and have limited powers, but they are better than nothing, which is what we're getting instead.

Thankfully, Cheriton & Morehall already have a PCSO, two community wardens and a community Police Officer, so we are unlikely to see much of a difference. As far as I know, no further PCSOs were planned for our area. Other areas may not be so lucky.

One particular project which PCSOs could have made to work was the late bus scheme, operated by the council on a trial basis in 2004-5. Sadly, the scheme had to be withdrawn when the police were unable to provide support units to deal with rowdy behaviour on buses, so the bus company withdrew from the scheme. During the trial period, street crime, anti-social behaviour and public order offences all fell markedly. Schemes like that can make a real difference to all of our lives, but simply aren't as high a priority as dealing with "hate crimes" and revenue generating speeding drivers.

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