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Agenda item

Police Community Support Officer Reductions

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Superintendent Mark Holland and invited Mr Tipping to give an overview of the reduction in the number of Police Community Support Officers.

 

A report which informed the Police and Crime Panel about a petition primarily organised by Unison regarding the proposed reductions was circulated. 

 

Paddy Tipping then presented an overview of the scale and explained the need to make the reductions.  Even with the reduction of 70 Nottinghamshire is still well above the national average for numbers of PCSOs and all parts of the County will have access to a neighbourhood policing team which will include PCSOs. The decision to reduce the number of has been driven entirely by the tough financial climate, Nottinghamshire Police has had to make savings of £45 million pounds over the last three years, last year £11 million was saved and there may be a need to save even more after the comprehensive spending reviewin November. It is envisaged that between 2010 and 2020 Nottinghamshire Police will have lost 50% of its Government Grant. Funding for the police is made up of 70% government grant and 30% council tax.  As a consequence of these reductions a review and reconfiguration of services has been required.  Approximately 80% of the Police budget is spent on officers and staff and it has been necessary to look at all staffing to identify where reductions can be made.  Nottinghamshire is currently not recruiting officers and as officers leave and retire this could lead to a reduction of up to 110 posts next year.  Other staff reductions at senior level, including assistant Chief Constables and Chief Superintendents, the closure of front counters and changes in back office services have also been made.

 

The need to make budget reductions has underlined the necessity to concentrate resources in areas of high crime.  Areas that have low crime rates will have a reduced number of PCSO’s; areas of high crime will get more. Deployment of officers is the responsibility of the Chief Constable. 

 

Maximising efficiencies includes:

·         a focus on mental health.  From February this year no children with a mental health issue have been taken into custardy this has be rolled out to include adults from the first of October.  This is supported by partnership work with other agencies to achieve this for example a community psychiatric nurse accompanying police officers to incidents.

·         retraining of backroom staff to identify priority telephone calls and those which are relevant for the police action. Not all crime incidents need a visit and it is important to establish early during reporting if a visit is required.

·         response officers spending less time in custardy suites – prison handler roles now undertake this role.

·         allocating where there is demand, some neighbourhood teams may cover larger areas where crime levels are low

·         generally local beat meetings will be maintained however they may be less frequent in rural areas

·         sharing of back office functions and looking at joint procurement with other forces.

 

Resources will be deployed to areas of greatest need, responding to areas where demand is greatest. Taken as a whole there has been an 8% reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour. The growth in child sexual exploitation and fewer reported incidence of violence requires reprioritising of resources to meet need.  In conclusion the there is still a commitment to neighbourhood policing and by looking at prioritising resources and maximising efficiencies all parts of Gedling will still have access to a neighbourhood police unit.

 

 

Members were concerned that these efficiencies and fall in crime figures could result in greater budget cuts but were informed that 70% of the grant money is distributed by complex formulas driven by levels of crime and this would not happen.

 

RESOLVED:

 

      I.        To thank the Police and Crime Commissioner and Superintendent  Mark Holland  for attending the meeting

 

    II.        To note the information provided.

 

Supporting documents:

 


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