PCSO cuts deepest in Essex

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh

PCSOs are disappearing from the pavements of Essex in record numbers.

There are 127 less in the county now than in 2010 and the numbers will continue to drop.

A report by Unison, the trade union for PCSOs, warned people to expect a rise in crime as a result.

General Secretary Dave Prentis said: “Neighbourhood policing is dying on the beat. What took years to build up is being lost because of reckless Government cuts.

“PCSOs are under growing pressure. They tell us how they have to cover larger beats and more of them have to work alone, often leading them to feel vulnerable.

“They are a reassuring and deterring visible presence in our streets and without them crime is likely to rise.

“The cuts on neighbourhood teams are putting public safety into jeopardy.”

Across the six Eastern counties 268 have been lost.

Essex has lost 28 per cent of its PCSOs in four years, the fourth highest nationally and highest in the eastern region.

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “It is no secret we are facing challenging times.

“We will become a smaller police force with fewer employees and our PCSOs have already felt some of that impact but PCSOs are here to stay and will remain a key part of the way that we do business.

“I greatly value the work of my PCSOs who perform an essential role.

“They are an important connection between the police and the communities we serve.”

However he admitted there will be more cuts both to officer and PCSO numbers.

Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston said: “I remain completely committed to PCSOs as key members of our community policing teams.

"There has been a reduction but that reduction would have been even greater had I not acted to support funding for policing through modest rises in council tax.

"I am delighted some councils have decided to fund PCSOs.

"We will have fewer PCSOs as we are also likely to have fewer officers, staff and even police stations.

“But crime has continued to fall through all the recent changes and I am confident the Chief Constable and his officers, PCSOs and police staff will do all they can to continue to deliver professional policing to all of us in Essex.”

Comments (31)

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10:28am Mon 28 Apr 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

I would be concerned if PCSOs were effective but they're not!
They huddle in groups around Colchester chatting most of the day and as for working to help in the community they have no powers and have become a laughing stock for derision!

Perhaps some investment in more cardboard cutout cops is the answer! It would certainly be a cheaper option to the PCSO.
I would be concerned if PCSOs were effective but they're not! They huddle in groups around Colchester chatting most of the day and as for working to help in the community they have no powers and have become a laughing stock for derision! Perhaps some investment in more cardboard cutout cops is the answer! It would certainly be a cheaper option to the PCSO. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 16

10:42am Mon 28 Apr 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
I would be concerned if PCSOs were effective but they're not!
They huddle in groups around Colchester chatting most of the day and as for working to help in the community they have no powers and have become a laughing stock for derision!

Perhaps some investment in more cardboard cutout cops is the answer! It would certainly be a cheaper option to the PCSO.
The day a PCSO actually foils a criminal, or catches a burglar, I will eat my hat.
They an utter waste of money, they get paid MORE than a probationary Police Officer, brought in by David Blunket, they are a laughing stock.
PCSO = POLICE CHEAPSKATE OPTION
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: I would be concerned if PCSOs were effective but they're not! They huddle in groups around Colchester chatting most of the day and as for working to help in the community they have no powers and have become a laughing stock for derision! Perhaps some investment in more cardboard cutout cops is the answer! It would certainly be a cheaper option to the PCSO.[/p][/quote]The day a PCSO actually foils a criminal, or catches a burglar, I will eat my hat. They an utter waste of money, they get paid MORE than a probationary Police Officer, brought in by David Blunket, they are a laughing stock. PCSO = POLICE CHEAPSKATE OPTION Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 19

10:42am Mon 28 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Everyday in Leigh i saw the chap on the bike...but he went well over a year or so ago, theres a couple of PCSO's that ride round in the Hyundai Estate Police car out of Leigh station, sometime i see 2 walking in the Broadway, but rarely see them elsewhere now, ohh usually see 2 near McDonalds upper end southend high street mostly dealing with the drunks or walking in The Royals, a large area with too few Officers.
Everyday in Leigh i saw the chap on the bike...but he went well over a year or so ago, theres a couple of PCSO's that ride round in the Hyundai Estate Police car out of Leigh station, sometime i see 2 walking in the Broadway, but rarely see them elsewhere now, ohh usually see 2 near McDonalds upper end southend high street mostly dealing with the drunks or walking in The Royals, a large area with too few Officers. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 7

10:46am Mon 28 Apr 14

Nebs says...

I am surprised that we need a police force at all. All I have read for the last 15 years is how crime in Essex is falling, it must have fallen so much that there can't be enough left to justify expenditure on a Police force who have no crime to detect.
I am surprised that we need a police force at all. All I have read for the last 15 years is how crime in Essex is falling, it must have fallen so much that there can't be enough left to justify expenditure on a Police force who have no crime to detect. Nebs
  • Score: 16

10:48am Mon 28 Apr 14

Jack222 says...

Excellent news. PCSOs main job was to make the paranoid about crime feel safe. Save money and get rid of them all
Excellent news. PCSOs main job was to make the paranoid about crime feel safe. Save money and get rid of them all Jack222
  • Score: 9

11:00am Mon 28 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

Soon as that lot are rubbed off the Police budget the better, they are like wardens in Police clothing, powerless, causing misery, and often tying up valuable Police resources with non criminal petty complaints. Get rid of them.
Soon as that lot are rubbed off the Police budget the better, they are like wardens in Police clothing, powerless, causing misery, and often tying up valuable Police resources with non criminal petty complaints. Get rid of them. sesibollox
  • Score: 10

11:15am Mon 28 Apr 14

pembury53 says...

useless waste of money, not even tooled up with a spray, to deter would be oiks...... like a dog, without either bark, or bite.....
useless waste of money, not even tooled up with a spray, to deter would be oiks...... like a dog, without either bark, or bite..... pembury53
  • Score: 4

11:18am Mon 28 Apr 14

Oliver Guiness says...

i once saw one guarding a burst water main. Thought how well my tax was being spent.
i once saw one guarding a burst water main. Thought how well my tax was being spent. Oliver Guiness
  • Score: 8

11:29am Mon 28 Apr 14

rayleigh123 says...

I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent.

At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars.

If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ???

Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ?????


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I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent. At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars. If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ??? Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ????? . . . rayleigh123
  • Score: -5

11:32am Mon 28 Apr 14

depotman says...

Scrape 100 PCSOs and put 60 more real police officers on the street who can actually deal with crime and make arrest's
Scrape 100 PCSOs and put 60 more real police officers on the street who can actually deal with crime and make arrest's depotman
  • Score: 10

11:34am Mon 28 Apr 14

sesibollox says...

rayleigh123 wrote:
I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent.

At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars.

If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ???

Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ?????


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.
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You need a plaster, which is very effective and CHEAP, PCSO's are neither Cheap or effective.
[quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent. At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars. If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ??? Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ????? . . .[/p][/quote]You need a plaster, which is very effective and CHEAP, PCSO's are neither Cheap or effective. sesibollox
  • Score: 12

12:11pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Rouge9 says...

Good news if the plastics are going for good. They are paid, but they had just as much legal clout as a G4S man.

Bring back full on sensible coppering, be they full time or Specials
Good news if the plastics are going for good. They are paid, but they had just as much legal clout as a G4S man. Bring back full on sensible coppering, be they full time or Specials Rouge9
  • Score: 8

12:25pm Mon 28 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

rayleigh123 wrote:
I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent.

At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars.

If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ???

Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ?????


.
.
.
Run it under the cold tap, a bit of Savlon and a plaster.
[quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent. At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars. If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ??? Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ????? . . .[/p][/quote]Run it under the cold tap, a bit of Savlon and a plaster. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: 6

12:31pm Mon 28 Apr 14

howwhy says...

On a well known police forum PCSO's are regarded as CHIMPS. the meaning of this is Can't Help In Most Police Situations. If the regular police regard them as toothless why do people at the top continue with these stop gaps or are they the only police the general public will be able to call on due to police constables who represent the corporate world and defenders of corporate crime.
.
On a well known police forum PCSO's are regarded as CHIMPS. the meaning of this is Can't Help In Most Police Situations. If the regular police regard them as toothless why do people at the top continue with these stop gaps or are they the only police the general public will be able to call on due to police constables who represent the corporate world and defenders of corporate crime. . howwhy
  • Score: 4

12:49pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Howard Cháse says...

howwhy wrote:
On a well known police forum PCSO's are regarded as CHIMPS. the meaning of this is Can't Help In Most Police Situations. If the regular police regard them as toothless why do people at the top continue with these stop gaps or are they the only police the general public will be able to call on due to police constables who represent the corporate world and defenders of corporate crime.
.
The proper coppers would have to go to the shops themselves if they didn't have the PCSOs to do it for them....
[quote][p][bold]howwhy[/bold] wrote: On a well known police forum PCSO's are regarded as CHIMPS. the meaning of this is Can't Help In Most Police Situations. If the regular police regard them as toothless why do people at the top continue with these stop gaps or are they the only police the general public will be able to call on due to police constables who represent the corporate world and defenders of corporate crime. .[/p][/quote]The proper coppers would have to go to the shops themselves if they didn't have the PCSOs to do it for them.... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 8

1:28pm Mon 28 Apr 14

poortaxpayer says...

Scrap the stupid plastic plod and invest in real Police.
Scrap the stupid plastic plod and invest in real Police. poortaxpayer
  • Score: 5

2:12pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Monkey1980 says...

My friend was 'arrested' by one once, until he punched him in the face and walked away! As much use as a chocolate teapot!!
My friend was 'arrested' by one once, until he punched him in the face and walked away! As much use as a chocolate teapot!! Monkey1980
  • Score: -11

2:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

emcee says...

rayleigh123 wrote:
I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent.

At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars.

If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ???

Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ?????


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.
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And that is all PCSOs do... walk around.

If they had the "correct powers" would they not be full blown Police Constables.
[quote][p][bold]rayleigh123[/bold] wrote: I am quite surprised but a lot of the negative comments on PCSO's, the two we have in Rayleigh are excellent. At least they walk around the district a lot which is better then the constables rushing round in cars. If they do not have the correct powers is this their fault or the system ??? Goes back to the old adage - if i cut my finger do i need a fully qualified doctor or a nurse with suitable training ????? . . .[/p][/quote]And that is all PCSOs do... walk around. If they had the "correct powers" would they not be full blown Police Constables. emcee
  • Score: 8

3:55pm Mon 28 Apr 14

SouthendWanderer says...

I am all for PCSO's, even if they are little more than the "eyes and ears" of the police, so don't want to see their numbers cut. However I would like to see them patrol a little further than just Southend High Street and the seafront!
I am all for PCSO's, even if they are little more than the "eyes and ears" of the police, so don't want to see their numbers cut. However I would like to see them patrol a little further than just Southend High Street and the seafront! SouthendWanderer
  • Score: -3

5:43pm Mon 28 Apr 14

/@|_|@\ says...

Kavanagh is a vapid mouthpiece for the pols that pull his strings (and all he does subsequently is pull our collective chains with his insipid and misleading comments). He (and his colleagues) make little sense when, as noted above, there should be no need for CHIMPS, plastic plods nor regular coppers since Essex is such a safe place to live now!
Kavanagh is a vapid mouthpiece for the pols that pull his strings (and all he does subsequently is pull our collective chains with his insipid and misleading comments). He (and his colleagues) make little sense when, as noted above, there should be no need for CHIMPS, plastic plods nor regular coppers since Essex is such a safe place to live now! /@|_|@\
  • Score: -2

5:49pm Mon 28 Apr 14

LoopyLou88 says...

I am also all for PCSO's theres some really decent ones out there - i often see them around thorpe bay broadway those gobbing off about them - give them a chance they are actually really really helpful. okay so PCOS's dont have the same duties as actual police but I feel safe knowing they are out on the streets. I've spoken to them on a few occasions and sometimes its even just for a chat but they dont mind. give them a change stop mouthing and gobbing them off. streets would be a hel sure unsafe without them.
I am also all for PCSO's theres some really decent ones out there - i often see them around thorpe bay broadway those gobbing off about them - give them a chance they are actually really really helpful. okay so PCOS's dont have the same duties as actual police but I feel safe knowing they are out on the streets. I've spoken to them on a few occasions and sometimes its even just for a chat but they dont mind. give them a change stop mouthing and gobbing them off. streets would be a hel sure unsafe without them. LoopyLou88
  • Score: 5

7:13pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Druggie Scumbag says...

I believe the PCSOs should be tasked with the job of selling all the weed the police seize. They are ideally placed with their feet on the turf and their probable knowledge of their customer base. Funds raised could be used to pay their salaries and those of a few police officers too. Most importantly they would be taking the criminal drug dealers off the streets as they would be unable to compete in the new market place.
I believe the PCSOs should be tasked with the job of selling all the weed the police seize. They are ideally placed with their feet on the turf and their probable knowledge of their customer base. Funds raised could be used to pay their salaries and those of a few police officers too. Most importantly they would be taking the criminal drug dealers off the streets as they would be unable to compete in the new market place. Druggie Scumbag
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Mon 28 Apr 14

blockpaver says...

Some comments are a bit harsh, I’m sure that as with all employees there are good PCSO’s and there are poor PCSO’s, the issues appear their powers, conditions of service, and suitability for the role. They don’t work at night, they cant arrest people, and some seem not to be of the personality we look for in a law enforcement officer.

In my view they are a “luxury” and if times are hard, as they are, and the choice has to be made cut the PCSO numbers or cut the numbers of Constables then there is one option. The PCSO’s will have to go.

Crime isn’t going down it just that people don’t bother to report low-level stuff as they know nothing will be done about it.
Some comments are a bit harsh, I’m sure that as with all employees there are good PCSO’s and there are poor PCSO’s, the issues appear their powers, conditions of service, and suitability for the role. They don’t work at night, they cant arrest people, and some seem not to be of the personality we look for in a law enforcement officer. In my view they are a “luxury” and if times are hard, as they are, and the choice has to be made cut the PCSO numbers or cut the numbers of Constables then there is one option. The PCSO’s will have to go. Crime isn’t going down it just that people don’t bother to report low-level stuff as they know nothing will be done about it. blockpaver
  • Score: 1

7:27pm Mon 28 Apr 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

when you start a job, you finish it and you finish it properly otherwise why bother starting it at all?
blair and co made such a brew ha ha about PCSO's...community street wardens...and the other lot with the grey tops...the name forgets me?
along came the recession and oh no it is not a good idea why?
PCSO's should stay all party politicians have been praising them from the roof tops so let it carry on and leave them alone.
a lot of them are retired 50 something police officers, who have down sized for less stress and some income and why not? good on them.
for the love of the almighty, we all jumped on the bandwagon, no one listened now let us bite the chew and get on with it.
leave them alone, pay them their money and let them get on with the job,
milky bar kids or not.
kavanagh and alston the dynamic duo should be able to sort it out one way or another, if they cant i doubt anyone else can.
its about the best Bodie & Doyle double act we are going to get. i guess you could say we are lucky in that respect.
when you start a job, you finish it and you finish it properly otherwise why bother starting it at all? blair and co made such a brew ha ha about PCSO's...community street wardens...and the other lot with the grey tops...the name forgets me? along came the recession and oh no it is not a good idea why? PCSO's should stay all party politicians have been praising them from the roof tops so let it carry on and leave them alone. a lot of them are retired 50 something police officers, who have down sized for less stress and some income and why not? good on them. for the love of the almighty, we all jumped on the bandwagon, no one listened now let us bite the chew and get on with it. leave them alone, pay them their money and let them get on with the job, milky bar kids or not. kavanagh and alston the dynamic duo should be able to sort it out one way or another, if they cant i doubt anyone else can. its about the best Bodie & Doyle double act we are going to get. i guess you could say we are lucky in that respect. A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: -1

7:28pm Mon 28 Apr 14

John Bull 40 says...

LoopyLou88 wrote:
I am also all for PCSO's theres some really decent ones out there - i often see them around thorpe bay broadway those gobbing off about them - give them a chance they are actually really really helpful. okay so PCOS's dont have the same duties as actual police but I feel safe knowing they are out on the streets. I've spoken to them on a few occasions and sometimes its even just for a chat but they dont mind. give them a change stop mouthing and gobbing them off. streets would be a hel sure unsafe without them.
They have the power of citizens arrest, as you do, so all you plastic keyboard warriors,
step in next time you see someone breaking the law, if you dare.
[quote][p][bold]LoopyLou88[/bold] wrote: I am also all for PCSO's theres some really decent ones out there - i often see them around thorpe bay broadway those gobbing off about them - give them a chance they are actually really really helpful. okay so PCOS's dont have the same duties as actual police but I feel safe knowing they are out on the streets. I've spoken to them on a few occasions and sometimes its even just for a chat but they dont mind. give them a change stop mouthing and gobbing them off. streets would be a hel sure unsafe without them.[/p][/quote]They have the power of citizens arrest, as you do, so all you plastic keyboard warriors, step in next time you see someone breaking the law, if you dare. John Bull 40
  • Score: 4

8:42pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Adrenaline_Junkie says...

Im very anti police. However, as a former criminal myself, I do see them as a deterrent. They do carry radios and can call for backup pretty quickly. Lets face it, if you was about to rob a bank in a high street, you turned up, and as you was getting out the car you saw 2 PCSO's near by. 99% of people would abort that bank robbery and leave it too another day.

But then again, they are a waste of money, have no power of arrest, and seem to casually walk up and down all day. They live the same life as someone on the dole to be fair. And the icing on the cake is they get paid via tax payers money.. same as a benefit scrounger.
Im very anti police. However, as a former criminal myself, I do see them as a deterrent. They do carry radios and can call for backup pretty quickly. Lets face it, if you was about to rob a bank in a high street, you turned up, and as you was getting out the car you saw 2 PCSO's near by. 99% of people would abort that bank robbery and leave it too another day. But then again, they are a waste of money, have no power of arrest, and seem to casually walk up and down all day. They live the same life as someone on the dole to be fair. And the icing on the cake is they get paid via tax payers money.. same as a benefit scrounger. Adrenaline_Junkie
  • Score: -4

10:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

the25man says...

PCSO's are eye's and ears for the Police and with the Uniform they wear and can be seen so those up to no good would think twice as the PCSO would not turn a blind eye as the general public would do.
Although it would better to have a lot more Police are we all prepared to pay for that I don't think so. PCSO;s are better than less cover you would get by replacing them with less fully trained PC
PCSO's are eye's and ears for the Police and with the Uniform they wear and can be seen so those up to no good would think twice as the PCSO would not turn a blind eye as the general public would do. Although it would better to have a lot more Police are we all prepared to pay for that I don't think so. PCSO;s are better than less cover you would get by replacing them with less fully trained PC the25man
  • Score: -4

11:00pm Mon 28 Apr 14

HARRY438 says...

Plastic was fashionable once now it's time to move on.
Plastic was fashionable once now it's time to move on. HARRY438
  • Score: -1

7:06am Tue 29 Apr 14

James.Harrington says...

It is only about £10,000 a year less to fund
It is only about £10,000 a year less to fund James.Harrington
  • Score: 2

8:33am Tue 29 Apr 14

HARRY438 says...

James.Harrington wrote:
It is only about £10,000 a year less to fund
How much plastic does that buy?
[quote][p][bold]James.Harrington[/bold] wrote: It is only about £10,000 a year less to fund[/p][/quote]How much plastic does that buy? HARRY438
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Tue 29 Apr 14

This-is-what-I-have-to-say says...

Having read the comments above, here are my comments:

1) PCSO's do have less power, however their uniform is distinctly different to that of a filly fledged PC. I wonder if their uniforms were more similar and it was harder to tell the difference if that would make a difference - what I am trying to say is that if you see a PCSO it's not THAT MUCH of a deterrent because you know that they are very limited in what they can do, however if it wasn't so obvious that they were "just" a PCSO, people would think twice before committing the crime.

2) Whilst out on patrol, rather than having 2 PCSO's working together and 2 fully fledged PC's - split them up and have 1 and 1, that way, the same patrols would be being done yet at every incident the powers of arrest would be there.

Just 2 little thoughts of mine - I'm ready for everyone to tell me how silly they are.
Having read the comments above, here are my comments: 1) PCSO's do have less power, however their uniform is distinctly different to that of a filly fledged PC. I wonder if their uniforms were more similar and it was harder to tell the difference if that would make a difference - what I am trying to say is that if you see a PCSO it's not THAT MUCH of a deterrent because you know that they are very limited in what they can do, however if it wasn't so obvious that they were "just" a PCSO, people would think twice before committing the crime. 2) Whilst out on patrol, rather than having 2 PCSO's working together and 2 fully fledged PC's - split them up and have 1 and 1, that way, the same patrols would be being done yet at every incident the powers of arrest would be there. Just 2 little thoughts of mine - I'm ready for everyone to tell me how silly they are. This-is-what-I-have-to-say
  • Score: 3

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