Cash found to save Burnley’s PCSOs

GOING: A number of Police Community Support Officers are set to go. (S)
GOING: A number of Police Community Support Officers are set to go. (S)

BURNLEY’S police community support officers look set to win a 12-month reprieve after the borough council proposed to set aside £87,200 funding.

For the past three years the council has helped fund nine PCSOs through its Working Neighbourhoods Fund but the cash will stop at the end of March as part of Government cuts.

It had been feared that all PCSOs across the county could face the axe by Lancashire Police but in a report to be considered on Tuesday by the council’s Executive, members will be recommended to ask the full council to approve funding for the next 12 months.

Coun. Neil Mottershead, the council’s Executive member for community safety, said: “It is clear from discussion with the police that without a contribution from the council the level of neighbourhood policing is likely to be significantly reduced. We have been looking hard at how we might continue to fund this important service.”

The money would come from the council’s performance reward grant, external funding earned as a reward for past performance and distributed by the Government. The funding would be a contribution towards the cost of the 28 PCSOs that operate in the borough.

Council leader Coun. Charlie Briggs added: “Discussions about the future of Burnley Council funding for nine of the PCSOs has been going on for several months and I’m delighted we’ve been able to extend this funding for a further 12 months.

“The council works closely with the police and other partners to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and make our borough a safer place. PCSOs are an important part of that work. They are popular with residents who want to see officers on the streets and they help free up the time of other police officers to deal with more serious crime.

“We want to see PCSOs continue their hard work in improving the quality of life for residents across our communities.”