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Mid Suffolk approves funding for two PCSOs to cover district from 2019

PUBLISHED: 17:33 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 11 December 2018

Mid Suffolk is proposing to fund two PCSOs for the district PIcture: GREGG BROWN

Mid Suffolk is proposing to fund two PCSOs for the district PIcture: GREGG BROWN

Plans for two PCSOs to be employed across Mid Suffolk from January have been given unanimous approval.

Julie Flatman said the PCSOs would provide high visibility patrols in Mid Suffolk Picture: MSDCJulie Flatman said the PCSOs would provide high visibility patrols in Mid Suffolk Picture: MSDC

Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet met on Monday, December 10, where the proposal to commit £149,200 to fund two PCSOs for two years, and their vehicle, was given the green light.

Julie Flatman, Mid Suffolk’s Conservative cabinet member for communities said it came in response to concerns raised by locals.

“Mid Suffolk councillors receive ongoing feedback from town and parish councils, businesses and residents regarding parking enforcements, speeding and low level anti-social behaviour which police often cannot pursue because of more serious crimes.

“These issues impact both on quality of life of local people and footfall of local businesses.

“The fundamental role is to contribute to policing through visible patrols and the purpose of reassuring the public, increasing ordinance in public places, being accessible to communities and working at a local level with partner agencies.”

The council confirmed the two officers would be utilised across the entire district, but be based out of the Stowmarket safer neighbourhood team office.

Among the key roles will be parking enforcement, patrols, and assisting at community events.

Penny Otton, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, called for assurances that the officers would be used flexibly across the district.

She also suggested they work in schools to help work with and educate youngsters.

Councillor Andrew Stringer, from the Green group, added that the working hours needed to be flexible because “criminals don’t just work in office hours”.

A formal agreement is set to be drawn up, with the plan for the officers to begin in January 2019.

It comes following an announcement earlier this year by Suffolk police to halve its number of PCSOs as part of cost cutting measures.

Councillor Roy Barker added: “More police visibility in all our villages is a great asset – it reduces crime, and with rural crime there is a lot of hare coursing.”

He added that it would help support the town pastors in Stowmarket, who look after potentially vulnerable people after club nights in the town.

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