More parishes have taken up the opportunity to sponsor their own, dedicated PCSO under a new scheme developed by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold.
Woodford Halse, Bugbrooke and a group of villages comprising Spratton, Pitsford, the Bramptons, Harlestone and Boughton are now sponsoring PCSO, bringing the total number of sponsored officers to nine.
Stephen Mold with PCSO Matt Taylor in Bugbrooke
These three new sponsored officers will each be dedicated to their sponsoring areas, working to locally agreed priorities and only being deployed on other duties in very exceptional circumstances.Organisations have been able to sponsor a percentage of the costs of a PCSO for some time. Under the new scheme however, organisations can now pay 100% of the costs and receive in return a PCSO who is a dedicated, visible policing presence in their area. Sponsoring organisations include parish councils, local authorities and business areas.
PCSOs Matt Taylor (Bugbrooke); Carl Barton (Woodford Halse) and Paul Miller (Spratton, Pitsford, the Bramptons, Harlestone and Boughton) will work full time on their parish beats, providing a visible and reassuring presence in the area. Their local police sergeants will work with the parish councils to identify their local priorities and ensure the community’s needs are being met.
PCSOs Taylor, Barton and Miller remain accountable to their local police sergeants, and their roles will enhance and supplement the work of their Northamptonshire Police colleagues, who will continue to deal with all other policing matters in the area.
PCSO Paul Miller with villagers of (Spratton, Pitsford, the Bramptons, Harlestone and Boughton
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “PCSOs are an integral part of many communities and perform a vital role, keeping communities safe and providing a very reassuring local presence.
“I am really grateful that so many organisations have forged this partnership with my office and Northamptonshire Police and are demonstrating their commitment to community safety. It shows how highly people value their local PCSOs and this scheme undoubtedly contributes to the overall safety of Northamptonshire.”
District Commander Chief Inspector James Willis said: “PCSOs are integral to our neighbourhood policing teams and play a crucial role in engaging with and supporting local communities and partner agencies, to identify and find solutions to local crime and anti-social behaviour issues.
“We welcome these parishes to the Sponsor a PCSO programme and look forward to seeing more PCSOs sponsored by other local organisations and communities across the county.”
John Curtis, Chairman of Bugbrooke Parish Council, said: “Bugbrooke are pleased to be co-operating with Northamptonshire Police by financing a PCSO in the village in order to create a more visible security presence for local residents. We look forward to working with PCSO Matt Taylor as he integrates into village life.”
Martin Flanagan of Pitsford Parish Council said: “Pitsford are enthused and energised in this move forward with our new sponsored PCSO and already we are seeing the benefits of which I am sure many more will follow.”
Woodford Halse Parish Councillor Jean Curd said: “The Parish have had a part time PCSO for a number of years but were pleased to be able to move to having a full time officer. Residents felt that it was important to have a dedicated police presence, and, with Carl now working full time in the village, he is developing good links with businesses and community groups.”