PCC Sue Mountstevens and Bristol Mayor George Ferguson with Bristol PCSOs
Contracts to keep the number of Police Community Support Officers at their present level in Bristol have been signed following agreement between the Mayor and the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Mayor and the Police & Crime Commissioner have worked closely together to try to keep the current level of PCSOs this year.
“While we recognise the value of PCSOs we had to look at every way that we can make savings but, working with Sue Mountstevens, we have ensured that there were still be a similar level of PCSO support this year and the PCSOs will be a central part of working to common aims to ensure a safer community,” said George Ferguson.
Police & Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “I am delighted that we have reached an agreement with Bristol City Council for this year. PCSOs do a wonderful job within our local communities. I hope that together with Bristol City Council we find a solution to sustain the level of funding for Bristol’s PCSOs for future years, despite the financial challenges ahead for both organisations.”
Previously the Council had funded 32 PCSOs who worked with 80 other Bristol PCSOs funded by Avon & Somerset Police.
Despite recognising the value of PCSOs, the need to make £35 million savings for the year April 2013/14, led Bristol’s Mayor and Cabinet to decide that £540k savings needed be made by reducing this service. This was just one saving that had to be found across Bristol City Council.
Under the new arrangements
- The council will fund 20 PCSOs in 2013/14 and the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) will fund ten. This would keep PCSO levels in Bristol at current levels i.e. approximately 110 posts in total, with those funded by Avon & Somerset Constabulary.
- Joint working arrangements have been developed and defined so that PCSOs can be clearly tasked by the partner agencies and contribute directly to community safety and help tackle local residents’ priorities
- A service level agreement has been developed, between the police and the council, which sets out how this joint work will be delivered and how the results will be monitored. This will be used to demonstrate the impact of PCSOs and plan future resourcing in the council in 2014/15 and beyond.
- The Council will still be able to make the £540k they needed to make on this service because of the additional Police contribution, plus a contribution from the Housing Revenue Account.
“PCSOs have made a significant difference in promoting community safety and reducing the fear of crime, and we join together to pay strong tribute to their work as part of the wider police family. Crime has dropped in the city consistently over recent years, particularly violent crime, and Bristol is a very safe city to live, work and study in, and to visit,” said Mayor George Ferguson.
Sue Mountstevens added: “PCSOs play a crucial part in tackling community concerns about anti-social behaviour and local crime. The council and the police have worked hard on the new joint working arrangements to make sure PCSOs contribute directly to community safety and continue to help tackle residents’ priorities.”
Posted on Wednesday 22nd May 2013