Hundreds sign petition to try and save ‘vital’ Norfolk PCSOs from the axe
- Credit: Ian Burt
A petition demanding sufficient funding of the police so the axing of 150 'vital' Police Community Support Officers can be avoided has so far attracted the support of hundreds of people.
Proposals announced by the Norfolk force include being the first in the country to get rid of all PCSOs, closing seven stations and shutting front desks to the public.
The 150 PCSOs at risk would be replaced with 81 new police officers and 16 non-officer roles as part of a move which will save £2m a year and follows the biggest review in the force's history.
MORE: Norfolk Police scrap PCSOs, closes sseven stations, and shuts front desks in radical reformThe proposals have prompted an online petition to be launched, via the change.org website, which will be delivered to home secretary Amber Rudd.
More than 400 people have so far signed the petition which was organised by North West Norfolk Labour Party secretary Jo Rust.
The petition states: 'Police funding has been cut, Norfolk in particular has experienced £30 million pounds worth of cuts since 2010.
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'It now needs to save a further £10 million and is proposing to make vital PCSOs redundant and to close rural police stations.
'This will see massive job losses, impact on our safety and hit community engagement as well as the knock on impact on our economy.'
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Chief Constable Simon Bailey said it was the biggest change to the force in decades and one of his hardest days in the job.
The proposals, which will save £2m a year and come from the biggest review in the force's history, would come into effect from April next year after consultation with staff.
Mr Bailey said the changes were being brought about by further cuts to the force's budget, rising reports of more serious crimes including sex offences and drugs, as well as technological changes.
The force has saved £30m since 2010 but needs to find another £10m by 2020.
Many of the cuts up to now have been made in the back office and by merging functions between Norfolk and Suffolk police.
But now the cuts are hitting the frontline.
As well as cuts, Norfolk police has seen a 357pc rise in crimes which need to be looked into by its safeguarding and investigation team.
For the petition go to