Police community support officers are a valued part of the police workforce as a key liaison point between local communities and policing, and we are all, I know, grateful for their service. Decisions about the best use of resources at the frontline, including the deployment of PCSOs, are for chief constables and democratically accountable police and crime commissioners based on their local knowledge and experience.
The Minister will know that Cambridgeshire has recently announced that the number of PCSOs is to be halved. The reason, in the words of the chief constable, was
“to ensure budget gaps can be met next year”.
Will the Minister do the right thing: bridge the gap and allow Cambridgeshire to keep our PCSOs?
I am very pleased to say that we have already started augmenting the resources available to Cambridgeshire police, with an award of £10.9 million last year, in the largest police settlement for a decade. Happily, it has already recruited 62 of the 99 allocated police officers, which I know will be making a huge difference in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, as they will across the whole of the county.