Proposals by Leeds City Council to cut funding towards the number of Police Community Support Officers in Leeds could “put community safety at risk” say two senior Leeds City Councillors.
Councillor Matthew Robinson (Shadow Resources spokesperson) and Councillor Amanda Carter (Community Safety and Police spokesperson) from Leeds Conservative Group have issued a warning to the Leeds City Council administration and Leeds residents ahead of the Councils budget proposals next month.
If the proposals go ahead over £600,000 of funding would be cut and see 34 Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) roles in Leeds at risk. Leeds City Council currently funds 50% of an uplift to add to the number of PCSOs in Leeds and deliver more boots on the ground in every ward ward across the city.
Cllrs Robinson and Carter said:
“We have serious concerns that these proposals put community safety at risk and fail to taken account of the levels of crime in Leeds across our diverse communities. Whether it’s Hunslet, Harehills or Harewood or whether it’s Calverley, or Crossgates or Kippax, PCSOs have played an important role in every ward in Leeds”.
“The Labour administration running Leeds has to be asked if it’s serious about reducing crime, improving community safety and supporting partnership working to make Leeds residents safer?”
“PCSOs work includes problem solving, community partnerships, intelligence gathering and they provide an additional visible policing presence. They often work with vulnerable people and have a role in offender management. As local ward Councillors we have worked with PCSOs to help make our communities safer and their actions supporting their police colleagues and their feedback is useful and appreciated.”
Cllr Robinson, who was chosen as the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidate for West Yorkshire before last years election was cancelled and is seeking the party’s West Yorkshire Mayoral nomination added:
“If Leeds City Council cuts this funding, then that places pressure on the PCC to clarify his position. Is he going to cut his funding for PCSOs in Leeds too? Is he going to ring-fence this cash to make Leeds residents safer?”