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Thursday 25 February 2010

Community “Eyes and Ears” Granted £0.5million Further Funding From Cheshire East

Community “Eyes and Ears” Granted £0.5million Further Funding From Cheshire East

They’ve been dubbed the eyes and ears of our community by police chiefs, and now Cheshire East Council has committed over half a million pounds towards part funding 16 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) over the next three years.

It means residents throughout Cheshire East will continue to have a reassuring police presence in their communities, as part of the Safer Cheshire East Partnership (SCEP).

The SCEP - a multi-agency approach to neighbourhood policing - previously received funding from the former borough councils of Crewe, Macclesfield and Congleton. Now Cheshire East Council will carry on that tradition with a pledge of £188,800 every year for the next three consecutive years.

Councillor Brian Silvester, who is chairman of the SCEP and Cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said the funding represented Cheshire East Council’s commitment to ensuring residents remained safe in their communities.

He said: “PCSOs do a marvellous job ensuring that a high visible police presence is maintained on our streets to tackle anti-social behaviour, crime and the fear of crime.

“Funding pledged by the former borough councils is about to run out which is why Cheshire East Council has stepped up to the plate with a promise to keep this vital resource going for the next three years.”

One resident considered moving out of her home because anti-social behaviour was so bad in the area.

But now 82 year-old Cath Harvey says she feels safer in her Crewe home where she has lived for the past 46 years.

She said: “The police do a good job, but to see PCSOs face-to-face and walking around is just great.

“I was seriously considering moving out of my home because we had 40 or so lads fighting in the area and it was really very frightening.

“But now any fears or problems or advice that I need, they’re always on hand to help.”

PCSOs were introduced under the Policing Reform Act of 2002, and help tackle the menace of anti-social behaviour by patrolling a beat and interacting with the public to gather intelligence.

They also work very closely with the council’s Community Wardens and support Cheshire Constabulary Police Officers during major incidents and events.

They can also issue Fixed Penalty Notices on behalf of the council for offences of littering and dog fouling under the Cleaner Safer Neighbourhood Act.

Councillor Silvester added: “The role of the PCSOs is evolving all of the time which is a positive step forward in reducing anti-social behaviour, crime, the fear of crime and creating a safer environment.

“Cheshire East Council wants to be part of this process which is why we have shown our support with this fresh wave of funding.”

Chief Inspector, Peter Crowcroft, said: “We are grateful to all members of the partnership for their support in helping us to continue to recruit and train PCSOs.

“It is a great reflection of the strength of the partnership and shows that we are all working together in a strong and united way to tackle crime and the fear of crime in our communities. The really good news is that the feedback we’ve received from the public about the work of PCSOs, is extremely positive.”

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