Council tax plan ‘to save Lancashire PCSOs’

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw

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Lancashire’s crime commissioner is proposing an increase to part of the council tax, to help prevent the loss of dozens of police community support officers (PCSOs).

Clive Grunshaw says he believes up to 70 PCSO jobs are at risk due to funding cuts to the Lancashire police budget.

He is consulting on whether people would be prepared to pay a two per cent increase in the police precept of their council tax, to help limit the damage of the £80m funding cuts the force faces by 2018.

The rise would equate to around 6p per week for the average household.

Mr Grunshaw has also urged bodies who contribute funding towards PCSOs, such as councils, to continue with the cash.

He said: “PCSOs provide a valuable resource and a visible police presence in and around Lancashire, making residents feel safer in their local area and helping to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. They also provide vital local contact with communities on policing issues.

“Without funding from partners I think it is likely that around 70 roles may be at risk and this may lead to an increase in incidents of anti-social behaviour or other crimes across the county.

“We are going to be faced with more cuts to our funding and inevitably that will lead to less staff. By increasing council tax slightly and securing partnership funding, it will go some way to mitigating these cuts, although it will not stop job losses altogether.

“I have pledged my funding for PCSOS will be maintained and I would urge our partners to continue their funding so that we can maintain the number of PCSOs at current levels.”

Lancashire police declined to comment.