PCSO funding pledge for South Yorkshire

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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FUNDING totalling almost £1 million is being provided to retain 10 Police Community Support Officers for the next three years despite huge public spending cuts.

South Yorkshire Police has taken over the costs, which were paid for by Sheffield Council.

The PCSOs work on estates around the city providing neighbourhood patrols.

Funding for the officers was due to be axed in 2011 under the last Liberal Democrat council budget, when £84m was cut, but was restored after Labour took control of the council that year.

But the authority is facing continued cuts, with £50m to be saved in 2013/14.

Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “We are pleased to announce that, through funding from the new Police and Crime Commissioner, we are able to keep the 10 council PCSOs.

“We all know that local people greatly value the front line presence that PCSOs bring and one of Labour’s first actions when we won control of Sheffield Council from the Lib Dems was to reinstate some of their cuts to PCSOs.

“At this time of hugely unfair budget cuts by the Government, it’s nice to get some good news to help ensure community safety in the city.”

South Yorkshire Police is having its annual budget reduced by 20 per cent between 2011 and 2015 but the heaviest savings have now been made, resulting in the loss of 215 officers.

Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright is committed to preserving current manpower and is raising the force’s council tax precept slightly to allow the force to replace 60 retiring officers.

He said: “I am delighted we have been able to help Sheffield Council keep 10 PCSOs for the next three years.

“The funding will help keep communities safe and make a positive difference to the city.”