North East Connected

Alam to Promote PCSOs to PCs in BID to Scrap PCSO Programme if Elected

CaptureSultan Alam, independent candidate for Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is planning to scrap the Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) role in favour of recruiting more fully trained and equipped Police Constables (PC) but has promised current PCSO’s will not lose their jobs, and instead be offered an opportunity to re-train as PC’s.

The proposal is viewed as a win-win by many members of the public who are keen to see more fully fledged police officers on the streets and Mr Alam is determined to increase the police presence in Cleveland as a means to preventing and tackling crime.

When asked if more police officers would help reduce crime, Darren Waites, 39 from Stockton, said: “Of course it does. It doesn’t eliminate crime, but larger police numbers will ensure less opportunity for criminals. It will also help with response times and mean they are able to catch more criminals. We just need more prison spaces now!”

Joan Smith, a 76 year old Middlesbrough resident, was also keen to see more police officers on the street, adding “When I was younger, there was always a bobby around and this provided a sense of security. It made us feel safer. I don’t feel safe nowadays and rarely see police officers.

“Whenever I leave the house now, I tend to go to the ton and straight home as soon as I can.

“I would feel a lot happier knowing the police are there.”

The PCSO role was established in 2002 and most operate within the Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) and Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) but increasingly they have been used as support officers, albeit without the full authority, power and training of PC’s.

Sultan Alam, who is a retired and decorated police officer, believes the Police Service will be more effective with a larger pool of fully trained PC’s who can be assigned as necessary, as opposed to the current structure which is restricted by a low number of PC’s (177 less under current PCC Barry Coppinger) and the limited powers of PCSO’s.

Mr Alam said: “As is often the case with party politics, we introduce a system for which we can’t see the wood for the trees.

“The problem with the position of PCSO is they don’t have the full powers of a PC and are therefore restricted. They also don’t receive the same respect in a similar way as support teachers in schools tend to be given a rough ride, as they are not an official resident teacher.

“I want a fully equipped force ready for deployment in every capacity, from walking the beat to attending crimes and the most simplistic and realistic way to do this is to have PC’s and not PCSO’s.

“I want to make it clear that this issue has nothing to do with the work by the individual PCSO’s, they do a fine job within their remit, but I have spoken with many, who have indicated their own frustration at their limitations and my answer is to re-train them as fully fledged police officers.

“There is not a big difference in salary between a PC and PCSO, there is a slight increase in training cost, clearly, but this is justified.

“I want a more effective and therefore more efficient Cleveland Police, and I have plans to implement this change, which will be a positive change, endorsed by members of the public and the PCSO’s I have spoken with.

“My opponents will argue that this is not possible, but having studied the budget and the amount of mismanaged funds, I know it is. The cost of this transition is relatively small in the grander scheme and I will make savings within the current budget, especially within the PCC’s own office, which will allow this to happen.

The re-training cost plus a slight increase in salary will result in an additional 130+ police officers on the streets of Teesside”

For further information visit or visit his Facebook page: Sultan Alam For PCC

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