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Support for Community Policing in Council budget

Published: 26th February 2016 18:30

PCSO Leeds  

Support for Community Policing in Council budget


Councillor Judith Blake, the Leader of Leeds City Council has announced that the overall number of PCSOs in Leeds will rise from the current position.
The Council has seen a reduction in core funding of £180 million since 2010, with savings in excess of £76 million needing to be found in 2016/17. In addition, the Council is aware that the Police and Crime Commissioner has needed to deliver savings of £140 million in the last few years.
In spite of these reductions, Leeds City Council has maintained its support for PCSOs in the City and is set to do so again in this year's budget. Following positive discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner, the overall number of PCSOs in Leeds will be increasing. The Council's Executive Board, which Councillor Blake chairs, will be considering this matter in more detail at their next meeting.
Councillor Judith Blake, the Leader of Leeds City Council said:
"PCSOs provide vital services that are highly valued by our local communities. Despite consistent attacks on the police by the national government, and despite our own financial challenges, PCSOs remain a priority for this council.
"That is why we are setting out plans to provide an exceptional level of funding for PCSOs in comparison to our regional neighbours - Leeds will again contribute £1m this year to ensure we have PCSOs in communities right across the city.
"By working closely with Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, we have secured a deal which means that the number of PCSOs in the city will actually increase from the current number. Additional PCSOs will also be provided by partners in key locations across the city.
"Every ward in the city will have a minimum of 3 PCSOs. On top of that, in line with our aspirations to deliver targeted support to areas suffering poverty, deprivation and high crime levels additional PCSOs will be provided by the PCC in response to specific need.
"However, we are concerned of reports of changes to the funding formula from 2017/18 that could redistribute funds towards Shire Counties. Just like the additional funding for rural Councils -none of which came to Leeds- this would take money away from cities like Leeds that have tried hard to maintain Policing levels. We will clearly look to protect Community Policing where we can, but yet more reductions from Central Government will make that harder and harder."
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