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Kesgrave Town Council to review PCSOs in 2017 after SNT closure

PUBLISHED: 20:30 11 March 2016

The Kesgrave Safer Neighbourhood Team building is set to close

The Kesgrave Safer Neighbourhood Team building is set to close

Councillors in Kesgrave have said they will review the impact of policing changes in Kesgrave this year, before deciding whether to commit to continuing to match-fund a PCSO for the town.

Changes by Suffolk police which are set to take effect from next month include the closure of the safer neighbourhood team (SNT) office in Ropes Drive, meaning PCSOs covering Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew will now operate out of the Heath Road SNT office in Ipswich.

A match-funded PCSO had already been agreed for this year by Kesgrave Town Council, with councillors saying that they would review how the changes affect policing in the town before deciding whether to continue next financial year.

It is estimated the cost to part-fund would be around £21,000, with a third being funded by Rushmere Parish Council. At this month’s Kesgrave Town Council meeting, councillors expressed their concerns over the changes with the force’s business liaison manager Lee Jenkins.

Councillor Geoff Lynch said at the meeting: “We were a little concerned about a number of things such as hours – is there going to be some flexibility?”

Councillor Kevin Archer added: “From what I can see we will have no police force.”

Mr Jenkins said: “We cannot change the shift pattern. The rationale is this was agreed with Unison so if we were to operate different shift patterns it would go against that.

“If it is realised up to March 2017 this is not working we require that feedback – positive and negative – so we can look at what’s happening.”

The meeting heard that with few emergencies in the town, it was preventative work that was most important, but the council insisted it would be reviewing the situation this year.

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