Every PCSO in London could be scrapped as part of the Metropolitan Police Service’s £800million savings plan, according to the BBC.
The Met needs to make these savings by 2019, with three options for PCSOs presented. Either axe the 1,017 PSCOs post, keep one in each ward (which would equate to 629 in total), or leave the system as it is and look at another aspect of the force.
According to the latest Metropolitan Police data, there are currently 32 PSCOs in Tower Hamlets, all of whom could be axed if these plans go ahead. This follows a 75% reduction in the numbers on the borough’s streets since May 2010.
Labour London Assembly Member and mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “This is the clearest sign yet that Government cuts are decimating London’s police force. Axing all of London’s PCSOs would be the final nail in the coffin for neighbourhood policing and mean far fewer officers on the beat in our communities acting as the eyes and ears of the Met.
“With at least £800million of expected cuts hanging over the Met, there is a real question as to whether the police service as we know it will exist in ten years’ time.”
Deputy mayor for policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh said it could be a step too far to lose all neighbourhood PCSOs.
PCSOs funded by other organisations, such as Transport for London, and PCSOs who work in Aviation Security (SO18) are not under threat.
The move to axe PCSOs will be discussed at the next Metropolitan Police Management Board meeting on Tuesday, September 29.