Torfaen votes to keep extra officers on the beat

South Wales Argus: FUNDING: An additional 10 police community support officers will be kept on the streets in Torfaen FUNDING: An additional 10 police community support officers will be kept on the streets in Torfaen

TORFAEN cabinet voted in favour of spending more than £100,000 to keep 10 police community support officers on the streets.

The council currently makes a 33 per cent contribution of £110,270 toward the costs of having an additional 10 PCSOs working in Torfaen.

But, this current agreement between the council and police and crime commissioner was due to end on March 31.

At a meeting, cabinet members were asked to consider extending the agreement from April 1 until March 31, 2015.

PCSOs respond to a wide range of community safety issues including tackling and reducing anti-social behaviour.

The officers are located at police stations in Pontypool and Cwmbran working alongside regular police officers offering a visible uniformed deterrent and fast response to residents’ complaints.

Cabinet members were informed that in terms of benefit, due to the close and integral working with the police, it is not possible to segregate the impact PCSOs make to the overall ‘policing’ service across Torfaen.

But over time, volume crime and anti social-behaviour has been reducing in Torfaen and PCSOs have made a positive contribution to this reduction.

Gwent Police figures show that in 2008 to 2009, there were 7,547 crimes committed in Torfaen, but this has fallen to 5,160 in 2012 to 2013.

Since 2007, there has been a reduction of around 50 per cent of reported anti-social behaviour across Torfaen.

PCSOs also deal with vehicle crime, burglary, public disorder, and criminal damage.

They tackle incidents as they occur as well as reassuring victims of crime through prevention activities.

The cabinet were informed that there was a risk that without financial support the positive work already undertaken may be jeopardised and the number of PCSOs operating in Torfaen reduced.

Speaking at the meeting, cllr Brian Mawby said: “Statistics show that since PCSOs have come in, the levels of crime have fallen in Torfaen. The officers are on the beat and can get to situations quickly.

“The police have found a different way of tackling crime without the use of regular police officers, and it is very effective.”

The cabinet members agreed to extend the agreement and make the financial contribution.

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