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West Yorkshire Police chief’s £3.6m boost saves 120 PCSO jobs
The jobs of more than 100 police community support officers across the Bradford district have been saved by a £3.6 million cash boost.
West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, has pledged to pay an extra £2.9m, supported by £770,000 from Bradford Council’s coffers, for the next two years to preserve 120 PCSOs – more than half of the number in the district – whose position had been threatened by budget cuts.
The money is on top of £17.8m Mr Burns-Williamson pledged last month to keep the current level of PCSOs throughout West Yorkshire until 2016.
The new cash injection will protect the level of police community support officers, currently at 211, in the district for the next two years.
An agreement has been reached between Mr Burns-Williamson and Bradford Council leader David Green to increase his funding by 30 per cent a year, taking the Police and Crime Commissioner’s total contribution to £2,898,984.
Bradford Council has pledged £770,616 a year to the fund.
Mr Burns-Williamson said it was a positive move.
“Protecting our communities is a priority and this is a massive step in the right direction of sustainable policing as we all remain committed to preventing and tackling crime and making communities safer and feeling safer,” he said.
“I welcome the support of Bradford Council in protecting front-line policing. I understand the challenges that the Council faces. The police service alone is being cut by £152m to 2016/17.
“This means we have to find smarter, more innovative ways of working together in our communities.”
Councillor Imran Hussain, deputy leader of Bradford Council, said: “Community safety is a top priority, so we are pleased to come to an agreement with the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire that will ensure we have a strong presence of Police Community Support Officers in the district.
“People want to feel safe, both in their homes and when they are out and about on the streets, so pledging funding for PCSOs means we can continue to receive the excellent protection they have delivered.”
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