Nottinghamshire’s policing boss has announced plans to cut 70 PCSOs from the force, raising concerns that boroughs outside the city may be hit hardest.
Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has confirmed a plan to cut the number of civilian beat officers to around 250 over the next year to save £2.8 million, on top of a cut to officers as many will leave the force but not be replaced.
But Unison East Midlands has slammed the decision, and says it will affect the outer boroughs more than the city as a quarter of PCSOs are taken off the beat.
Regional Head of Police and Justice Dave Ratchford said: “There’s no way it’s going to be an even spread of cuts. There are 18 high-profile areas and six of them are in the city, so the cuts are going to effect the outer-lying areas even more.
“PCSOs are an integral part of policing, both of community policing but also intelligence gathering. They are the first to see issues arising of drug use or anti-social behaviour.”
Unison calculates that the cost of retaining the 70 staff officers would be an extra £5 in council tax, and public consultation has shown that 67 per cent of residents would prefer a rise in tax to cuts in policing.
Mr Ratchford added: “We’re saying that he should bite the bullet and put the issue before the people for them to decide.”
Stapleford has been one area where PCSOs have made a huge impact, and it would be a shame to see any change, said Richard McRae, Chairman of Stapleford Community Group.
He added: “PCSOs have made Stapleford a much safer place.
“It seems like the city is getting their own way again and they let the outer borough pick up the slack.
“The city’s got problems, but the outer boroughs have problems too.”