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Offline Editor

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2006, 10:08:16 pm »
There is more on about the role of a PCSO on the National PCSO site (click here to access) and on the Home Office site (click here to access).

David
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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2006, 10:35:23 am »

Bob

My parents, who live in The Cutting, have not received their letter yet - is anyone covering that area? If not, my mother has offered to deliver to the other houses along there.

Regards

Mermaid
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2006, 11:05:41 am »

nightlondon makes some interesting points and whilst reading the post I started thinking about the cover that we used to have in the village. Our 'village bobby' in Brookmans Park always seemed to be around on his bike and had eyes and ears everywhere, but then he only had to cover Brookmans Park.

Of course there are always changes, but I think the biggest change in policing for Brookmans Park came in 1999/2000 when PC Michailovich (apologies for the probably inaccurate spelling) ceased to be dedicated to Brookmans Park, and together with PC Martin, had to cover Welham Green, Essendon, Newgate Street, Northaw and Cuffley as well (for details, see the archived Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter 3/99). There is no doubt in my mind that BP has suffered as a result, and also that more serious crimes have risen - armed robberies of the jewellers (now departed) and the Co-op spring to mind.

I have assumed from reading reports about the operation of PCSO's in other areas that the PCSO would be in addition to the current level of policing; I would therefore be very concerned if it transpired that the use of a PCSO in North Mymms was being used as a way of reducing 'proper' policing in the area. It would be nice to receive some kind of re-assurance about this .
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2006, 11:16:38 am »

I would therefore be very concerned if it transpired that the use of a PCSO in North Mymms was being used as a way of reducing 'proper' policing in the area. It would be nice to receive some kind of re-assurance about this .


I agree Mermaid. I would like this assurance too. I can imagine a case being put in future constabulary budget meetings that costs be saved by cutting conventional police cover in areas covered by PCSOs.

I am worried by the line in the form that says...

Quote

We would like to know if you would wish us to proceed with an agreement with the Chief Constable on these lines.



I guess that 'agreement' would be about the funding proposal in the preceeding paragraph, however it's the terms of that 'agreement' I am interested in.

David

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2006, 01:13:06 pm »
Bob kindly dropped off a Hertfordshire Constabulary document about PCSOs.

I found all the information is online too.

Click here to access it.
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2006, 11:53:25 am »
A few questions and rumours need to be answered.

The PCSO would patrol the whole of North Mymms parish, including part of Little Heath, Bullens Green, Bell Bar as well as the two main villages of Brookmans Park and Welham Green.

The cost to the Parish Council would be about £16,000 in a full year, pro rata for a part year.  This is the total cost.  No extras.

The extra cost per year would be about 10% of what you currently pay the parish council.  Have a look at your latest Council Tax bill.  Apparently it would vary between about £3 and £8 a year according your banding.

This PCSO would be additional to the existing coverage by the police.  If there had been the slightest hint of any reduction in the existing police coverage then the Parish Council would have rejected the offer.  Chorleywood Parish Council has gone ahead with a PCSO and their article in a newsletter confirms the PCSO would be additional to and not replace the normal policing.

The exact duties of this PCSO would be drawn up in a contract between the Police and Parish Council.  It could include issuing spot fines for dog fouling on Gobions Open Space!

I am unsure about the relevance of the peak times for crimes being committed.  The contract for the PCSO would define times when the PCSO would be on duty etc.

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2006, 11:58:43 am »
Sorry Bob, one more question.

(I have a feeling there is no answer, so perhaps it's just me venting a worry, but here goes anyway.)

 :-\

If we have a PCSO covering this area could that result in Jitu being asked to focus more on areas not covered by PCSOs?

I guess you can't answer that, but could you quiz the chief con when the NMPC talk to him next please?

David
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John_fraser

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2006, 01:18:32 pm »
This PCSO would be additional to the existing coverage by the police.  If there had been the slightest hint of any reduction in the existing police coverage then the Parish Council would have rejected the offer. 
No hint that the police won't reduce the coverage is not the same as them explicitly confirming they won't reduce the coverage. It's a bit like a politician saying We have no plans to...

As we don't know what cover we have, it will be very difficult to know if it is reduced.


Quote
I am unsure about the relevance of the peak times for crimes being committed.  The contract for the PCSO would define times when the PCSO would be on duty etc.
IIRC. the letter sent mentions the PCSO working until 11pm
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2006, 05:03:13 pm »
True Dave.  There is no answer to your question at the moment.  I assume this would be something to be negotiated with the police if and when a contract is drawn up.

John. All that can be said at the moment is exactly what I said.  Again these are points for clarification in the contract.  Also one PCSO cannot provide 24 hour coverage, 7 days a week.

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2006, 05:23:23 pm »
True Dave.  There is no answer to your question at the moment.  I assume this would be something to be negotiated with the police if and when a contract is drawn up.

Thanks Bob
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Offline Mr Green

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2006, 09:25:19 pm »
Clicking on David Brewer’s link to the Herts Police web site takes us to this curious profile of a PCSO.

"…A visible foot patrolling representative of law and order, providing public reassurance and to assist with the prevention of crime and disorder within the community. Complementing the work of Police Officers by focusing on lower level crime, disorder and anti social behaviour."


representative of law and order
        Representative?
        We don't need a representative of law and order, we need an enforcer of law and order – a police officer.

providing public reassurance
      Surely we should be the judge of whether we are reassured or not

to assist with the prevention of crime and disorder
      Purposefully vague I would suggest. A police officer actually has a duty to detect and prevent crime.

focusing on lower level crime, disorder and anti social behaviour.

      I thought they were supposed to focus on the concerns of the community.
      Presumptions already in place as to community needs and desires.
      Are these crimes really that different or just different names for the same activity?

The cynical might suggest the PCSO will be directed to focus on issues which the Constabulary is judged on by the Home Office and within the British Crime Survey. Non- recordable crimes which do not amount to a home office sanctioned detection (and thereby impact upon Herts Constabulary funding – yes were back on the dog poo in Gobions again) will not be big on their “must do” list.

Have you guessed – I voted NO.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2006, 09:28:05 pm by nightlondon »
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2006, 05:54:11 pm »
nightLondon makes good points.  However we are told that there will be no more ‘full’ policing than what we have now.  As far as can be assessed, it is a PCSO or stay as we are.

This week two people have given me examples of how a uniformed ‘beat bobby’ eased a situation.

As far as I can tell, it is the low-level crime etc that is of major concern to most people.  For example, Forum correspondence on dog litter shows how much people want action to reduce this problem.  Why use a fully trained police officer to deal with low-level items like that? Also, would a full officer get job satisfaction carrying out that role?

By memory, the major concern expressed at the public meeting in February at the URC was the need for a visible uniformed presence.  Not someone (most likely a civilian) watching a bank of CCTV screens or at a police call centre maybe at Norwich if the police forces merger goes ahead. Face to face contact has to be the best option.

There are claims that low-level criminals move on to higher levels of crime.  If a PCSO can reduce the low-level crime, anti-social behaviour, etc, then we will all benefit by the future reduction in higher level crimes.

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2006, 08:03:46 pm »
I agree the local presence is what is required to reduce low level crime. It is the difficult juveniles who really upset people not the threat of international terrorism.
 

Offline Largey

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2006, 02:17:11 am »
This is not in any way a hit at the many PCSO's who do a good job but !!!!

Lets look at this a bit closer. PCSO's do not have the same powers as police officers, in fact they are told not to engage in any form of confrontation. The amount of money paid by the residents of the parish in comparison to other areas of the Herts police area must warrant a full time dedicated PC, not a PCSO. I believe that we would all benefit by putting pressure in the right places and we should be backed by members of our local community such as Counsellors and MP's in putting that pressure on. I believe that this is the only way we are going to be able to get a Police Officer back where they should be. A Police Officer who will engage and fight crime with powers is whats needed...Not a substantially well paid pair of eyes who just makes a call to the local control room when something goes wrong.
As i said this is not an attack at PCSO's in general I am mearly stating that a PCSO is NOT what the local community needs here..... In addition too a PC then yes but NOT instead of....
Phew !! :-X
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2006, 06:37:07 pm »
It is the difficult juveniles who really upset people not the threat of international terrorism.

And it is a police officer with a power of arrest who will upset the juveniles, not a PCSO.
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2006, 05:46:24 pm »
I agree with both Nightlondon and falconmedia and I too have been in touch with the police federation and Grant about the general police priorities but remember at that level they are grappling with limited resources and this suggestion of mergers.

My anxiety to see a PCSO is that that is the only local and swift option.   A PCSO wandering around chatting to the kids, seeing who is about and  moving people on is not perfect but it is better than nothing.

I would love a couple more Jitus but we aint gonna get them anytime soon. So its Jitu and a PCSO or Jitu by himself. I find it frustrating too but I am going for the best available option not the ideal option.
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2006, 06:14:59 pm »
I don’t think that this is the either or problem it is frequently made out to be. The best deterrent to crime would be frequent patrols and fast responses to calls. Currently Hailey’s Comet is seen in this village more frequently then a police officer other than Jitu. Simply more sending patrol cars through the village would do wonders for the crime rate.

While a PCSO would spend more time here than the police patrols, they would have almost no powers. And you can bet all you want that the reprobates causing the problems know this and will be undeterred by them. The best the PCSO could do would be to call for police backup. Well, we should be able to do that now, only the police don’t respond in a timely fashion. Fix that and you could save us the cost of the PCSO.

Finally, I don’t see why the police’s refusal to provide more resources is simply accepted.
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2006, 07:38:58 pm »
Agree with you entirely about response times John and I dont believe the times Jitu was asked to give us at the public meeting either. I think we should all be pestering the police authority on these issues-they are only going to change from the top. Hopefully the people on the county council are making their voices heard.
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2006, 12:39:18 pm »
Was listening to the Lords debate about Police and Justice Bill today and heard that an extra clause is going in to insist on and provide for youth training for PCSOs because most of them deal with youths and kids every day and 89% of them every week. Also seems most communities use them mainly or even solely for interacting with youths, youth liaison and "moving on" type activities.  Assuming Lord whoever it was had his facts right that sounds exactly what I would expect from our PCSO. Not Wyatt Earp I know but all good.
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2006, 06:16:12 pm »
Have received a reassurance from Grant Schapps today that he will raise the specific issue of response times with the Borough Commander at their next meeting.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2006, 11:04:56 am »
Survey results

Earlier in 2006, Herts Constabulary offered the services of a PCSO to the parish if the council would provide 50% of the cost for two years.  The cost in a full year was originally stated as roughly £16,000 but this was later reduced to about £14,000 p.a.
In June and July 2006 the Parish Council carried out a survey of all 3,600 households in the parish to see if residents would be willing to pay up to about 10% more next year to the Parish Council to part-fund this PCSO.  About 20% replied with 319 for the proposal and 339 against.  At its meeting on 26 July 2006 the Parish Council decided not to take up this offer from the police.     

Offline ADM

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2006, 01:16:14 pm »
Bob,

Thanks for the update.

I just hope that people don't interpret this result as "most people can't be bothered about the level of police/pseudo police presence".  I would certainly like to see more police around but I don't believe that I should have to pay extra for some resource which is going to be, let's face it, totally unaccountable.  And I don't think I am alone.
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2006, 10:40:56 pm »
How else do you interpret it ADM? 80% of people didnt even reply?! Still they cant moan in future if they dont have an opinion now can they!

We are now left with pressuring from the top to get more resources for our police and to get them to use those they have more efficiently. Thank goodness the merger idea has gone. Meantime dont expect much to change quickly.
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2006, 09:34:09 am »
I didn't vote

However this isn't that I don't care, simply that I can see arguments both for and against a PCSO as have been discussed on this forum. Eventually I decided not to vote - but this was not due to apathy as Peter has suggested !
 

Offline Susan

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #54 on: July 28, 2006, 10:38:03 am »
I didn't vote either. Not through apathy, but because we only got one vote for the household.

As two adults live in my house, and we disagreed, we didn't vote :)

 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #55 on: July 28, 2006, 11:03:27 am »
Ok apologies dont want to tar everyone the same but I think 20% is a poor response given the time and trouble that went into the thing and the fuss when we were having our little crime wave.

Since a postive response was needed to do anything, no response was effectively a no. So we had 10% in favour of doing something and 90% not. Some may have not responded as you explain but basically this is a large collective apathy so nothing gets done by default. It would have been so much better if people had actually voted "no" if that is what they wanted.

We also discussed this at length in our house-it was not an easy decision-but a response per household was needed since there is one tax per household.
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #56 on: July 28, 2006, 05:01:30 pm »
One tax that all adults in the household are liable for. Doesn't that give all adults a voice.
 

Offline NMLHS

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #57 on: July 28, 2006, 09:59:20 pm »
As with many questionaires inadequate information does not give one the oppportunity to make a choice.  Rather than not vote we voted 'no' subject to more information being available.

Having read this thread I think we made the right choice we want a police presence in our village.  Bearing in mind the money spent on policing why is this not available to us?  Why do we have to pay even more to get what we should have by right as council tax payers. >:(
 

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #58 on: July 29, 2006, 07:35:22 pm »
I agree entirely about the obligations of the police NMLHS and I hope people will do as I have and hassle the police authority and MP about this. I'd love to see two or three more Jitus about the place and faster response times when things do go wrong.

I just wonder if there was any point in going to the time and trouble of trying to collect local opinion if most people werent going to respond in any way at all.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Our local PCSO - Police Community Support Officer
« Reply #59 on: July 30, 2006, 11:45:44 am »
The cost of the survey was less than £200 which I think was money well spent.  The Parish Council is writing to every person who helped with the delivery, and the two shops, to let them know the result.

Even if more info had been provided, would it have made any difference to the way people did or did not vote? 

My reading of the result is that most people did not know which way to reply, which co-incided with the parish councillors similar quandary, and was why the survey was carried out.  We would all like more police presence on the street but do not see why more money should be paid on top of what is already paid to the police in our Council Tax.  A PCSO has limited powers.  A CCTV is not the same as a proper police officer either.

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