Police fight cuts by asking councils to pay for PCSOs


Town and parish councils must pay if they want to keep their police community support officers (PCSOs).

Bedfordshire Police has written to local councils asking for funding. If none is given 40 per cent of PCSOs will be cut to save money.

There are currently 10 PCSOs in the Biggleswade policing area, which also covers Sandy, Shefford, Stotfold and Arlesey. This will be cut to six unless the councils chose to pay.

Sandy Town Council discussed the issue at a meeting on Monday.

They talked about whether it would be double taxation because the police already get a slice of the council tax – or whether it would be paying for an enhanced service.

Councillor Geoff White said: “It’s sort of blackmail here for town and parish councils to say ‘you lose it unless you pay for it.’ I say as a householder I already pay for it in my council tax.”

Councillor Nigel Aldis stated that Sandy Town Council already pays a considerable amount of money towards the town’s CCTV. He said: “If we had those funds available I think buying into a PCSO would be a move we’d have to take but in these times I don’t think we can do that.

“I don’t think it’s double taxation. I think it’s paying for a better service.”

The councillors will seek more information before making a decision.