Three quarters of PCSOs in East of England cut since Conservatives came to power
DURING a visit to Thurrock by Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, Labour revealed that Police Community Support Officers in the East of England have been cut by a whopping 75% since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.
PCSOs in the region have been slashed, from 1,480 in 2010 to just 372 now.
PCSOs have been cut in every part of England, but the East of England has seen the joint biggest cut.
It comes as Labour today announces new plans to clamp down on neighbourhood drug dealing and rid Britain’s town centres of drug dealers.
Reported drug offences across the East of England have increased by 17% since 2015, with knife crime increasing by 75%.
Labour will introduce data-driven hotspot policing targeted at common drug dealing sites to tackle the local gang networks and dealers who are blighting communities.
Hotspot policing would mean that, where there are surges in reporting of local drug dealing in particular areas or at particular times, neighbourhood police would be deployed to flood the area to arrest and deter dealers.
Using new technology, neighbourhood police will target areas including outside schools and town centres which are often vulnerable to drug dealing. Hotspot policing is acknowledged by experts to be one of the most effective ways of preventing local crime.
Labour has pledged a Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee, delivering 13,000 neighbourhood police and PCSOs to Britain’s streets.
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said:
“The Conservatives have sat back and allowed criminal gangs dealing drugs and exploiting young people to grow in town centres across the country.
“At the same time, they have decimated neighbourhood policing including a huge 75% cut to PCSOs here in the East of England.
“Labour will deliver a Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee with 13,000 extra neighbourhood police and PCSOs. Labour will give police the powers to crack down on antisocial behaviour including drug dealing and introduce a tough new law to stop gangs exploiting and grooming kids for crime.”