Petition to save PCSOs gets 20,000 signatures

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition to save the jobs of 72 Nottinghamshire community support officers.

Members of UNISON have presented Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping with 21,152 signatures against the job losses.

The petition was in support of a referendum which would increase the cost of policing to the average local householder by over £13 a year.

After the meeting Paddy Tipping said: “I appreciate that people feel strongly about PCSOs and neighbourhood policing teams and I am a big supporter of the work that they do.

“However, the fact remains that over the past three years, Nottinghamshire Police has had to make savings of £42m, which is a budget reduction of 20 per cent.

“Since I came to office the number of PCSOs in Nottinghamshire has grown by 50 to 317 and this is recognition of the value they bring to community safety. However, looking at the scale of the savings we are required to find, the only way of achieving such targets is a major reconfiguration of the services we offer.”

He said further savings of £12m are necessary this year, adding: “I believe we will see a 50 per cent reduction in our budget between 2010 and 2020.

“As the legislation stands, a Referendum cannot take place until 5 May 2016 . No precepting authority has yet secured a ‘Yes’ vote for a rise in Council Tax while the very mechanics of a Referendum in the event of a ‘No’ majority would cost us £1m.”