STAY OF EXECUTION FOR PCSOs
Labour’s London Assembly policing spokeswoman Joanne McCartney has welcomed the Met’s choice to push back a decision on the fate of all London’s PCSOs after fierce opposition forced the Met to abandon plans to take a decision on their future this week.
Despite a discussion being scheduled for the Met’s management board meeting on Tuesday 29th September the Met has pushed back the decision until December after significant political and public opposition to the plans, says a Labour London Assembly group statement.
Despite welcoming the delay, she says the future of local policing in the capital remains at “grave risk.”
“The delay from the Met comes only a week after the commissioner warned that the scale of police funding cuts were ‘worrying’ for the capital .
”Between 2010 and 2016 the Metropolitan Police budget will have already been cut by almost £600m with up to an additional £800m of cuts expected to be announced in the upcoming spending review.
“I welcome that the Met is taking the time to listen to the vast public opposition to the proposed cuts to all PCSOs in London. “As the commissioner has warned, there is no doubt the spending cuts being made by Government could have a terrible impact on London’s police force.
“Despite this stay of execution for PCSOs it’s clear the future of local policing in the capital remains at grave risk.
“We cannot be complacent and will be spending the next two months making the case for neighbourhood policing in the capital.
“There is no doubt that Government cuts are putting great strain on the police force. “It’s time the Home Secretary understood that the decimation of neighbourhood policing is not a price the London public are willing to pay.”
The options due to be considered by the Metropolitan Police management board on September 29th were:
Retain 629 dedicated ward PCSO posts.
Remove all neighbourhood PCSO posts.
The board decided to defer consideration of PCSO cuts until its meeting in December. According to the PCS Union there are currently 1,017 safer neighbourhood PCSOs in the capital.
The statement quotes Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, speaking at the London Assembly police and crime committee on 24th September 2015 as saying: “We’ve got options on how to make savings but with that scale of savings none of them are attractive.”
Joanne McCartney is the Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey.