Union says cutting police community support officers will damage the link between London’s communities and the Met

pcsCutting police community support officers will damage the link between London’s communities and the Metropolitan Police, the PCS says.

The Met is drawing up what the union believes are unnecessary plans that could abolish all 1,000 PCSOs in safer neighbourhood teams.

PCSOs are more representative of the capital’s population than police officers and provide a vital link between communities and the Met.

As well as supporting officers on the streets, PCSOs are more able to attend community events and meetings and listen to the views of residents, businesses and local politicians.

Their presence helps deter and deal with low level anti social behaviour, freeing up police officer time to tackle more serious matters.

Options will be presented to the Met’s management board at the end of the month but an announcement to staff this week stated the 1,017 safer neighbourhood PCSOs would either be cut or reduced to 629.

The Met had its budget cut by £600 million under the last government and has said it is expecting further cuts of £800 million under this one.

But the union says the Met is trying to drive through huge changes to neighbourhood policing without proper consultation with staff, Londoners and politicians.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “PCSOs provide a link between communities and the police that is crucial to developing and maintaining trust.

“We don’t believe this is in the best interests of Londoners and we are calling on the Met to halt the plans and allow for proper negotiations around the alternatives.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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