Chief constable’s tribute as PCSOs abolished in Norfolk

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey
Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey

Norfolk’s chief constable has paid tribute to the PCSOs whose role disappears in the county on Saturday.

Plans announced in October to help save £10 million by 2020, including abolishing PCSOs and closing seven police station counters, come into effect on March 31 and mean 96 redundancies.

Simon Bailey said: “Policing in Norfolk has benefited hugely from PCSOs and I’m extremely proud of the outstanding work they have achieved over the years.

“Today is about thanking publicly all the PCSOs and public enquiry office staff who have served our communities so well and so loyally.”

The removal of PCSOs has allowed the force to increase police officer numbers, with an additional 81 officers and 16 support staff.

In addition, a 5.5 percent rise in council tax set by the police and crime commissioner means a further 17 police officers and six staff will be recruited, bolstering neighbourhood and pro-active teams and the county’s safer schools partnership.

Mr Bailey added: “This has been a significant challenge for the force and has driven us to look at policing differently. However, I cannot overlook the fact that as a result of the changes long serving colleagues have left the organisation.

“This has been a difficult process for all involved, I’m acutely aware the impact it has had on staff members but I genuinely believe these plans will deliver the most responsive police service for the people of Norfolk.”

Mr Bailey said out of the 176 at risk of redundancy nearly 80 have been redeployed.

Engagement surgeries will be held regularly across the county “providing opportunities for residents to meet their local officers”. They include ones at Hunstanton on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm, Downham on Thursdays from 11am-1pm, and Fakenham on Wednesdays from 1pm-3pm.