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street pastors meet PCSOs
Street Pastors prepare to hit streets
By Clara Story
If you bump into a someone wearing baggy clothing and a baseball cap late at night in central Kingston, don't be alarmed.
Chances are they could be one of 20 volunteers from 10 Kingston churches who will be patrolling the streets after dark several days a week from mid-June. Dressed in distinctive blue jackets, the wardens are following in the footsteps of a scheme set up by the Ascension Trust in Brixton in 2003.
"They are there to calm the atmosphere," said Derek Winsor, a former magistrate and member of the United Reformed Church (URC) on Eden Street, which is helping to run the scheme. "Street pastors are totally non-aggressive. Two thirds of Kingston's street pastors are women, and have been trained in street safety, first aid, drugs awareness and homeless issues. They will work in small teams with the police's support, and will be in contact with them by mobile phone. They have the uniform as well, and just walking up to a group can be enough to diffuse a situation."
spreading across the country like wildfire
The scheme is funded from many sources including Kingston Council and the 10 churches taking part: the URC, Kings Church on Kingston's Fife Road; New Malden Methodists, Community Church and Christ Church in Surbiton; the Greater Life Church, His Church, St George's, St Peter's in Norbiton, and Our Lady Immaculate in Tolworth. Start-up costs for the first year total £25,000, of which £13,000 is still needed.
1:21pm Friday 5th May 2006
|PCSO's transport dismay|
POLICE support officers may be forced to walk miles around their patch because of a lack of cars at Battle Police Station.
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) affected cover Robertsbridge, Sedlescombe, Etchingham and Ninfield. The PCSOs had been using two vehicles sponsored by Toyota and Nissan, but these were withdrawn when funding ran out in April.
PCSOs working from Rye police station have also seen their cars withdrawn, but because there are fewer police officers based at Rye than Battle, more patrol cars are available for them to use instead. Chris Dewitt and Tom McAspurn are the PCSOs for the Etchingham, Hurst Green, Burwash, Dallington, Flimwell, Ticehurst, Stonegate and Bewl Water area. They are two of the seven PCSOs based at Battle police station and get first choice of available vehicles because they have the furthest distance to travel.
PCSO Dewitt said: "We are short on vehicles but we are using the CCTV vehicle at the moment which is based in Rye.
The PCSOs can use police vehicles when there are few officers at the station, but police answering emergency calls get priority use. Inspector Warren Franklin of Battle police said: "We have put in for these two vehicles to be replaced. "Everywhere in Sussex is getting more PCSOs so in the long term it creates a problem with transport. "We have also got issues of car parking at Battle because it's a small police station. "We are also trying to get another CCTV van so there is one at Rye and one at Battle because we have only got one at the minute." He said that alternative options for PCSOs were being explored, adding: "Sometimes bikes are a good option for high visibility policing because you can just stop and get off."
However PCSOs would have to pass a cycling proficiency test before being allowed out on to the roads. It's believed some parish councils are considering sponsoring vehicles for their PCSOs.
A review of police resources across Sussex is due soon as part of the pending merger with Surrey police.
Battle police are hoping to land funding from the Central East Sussex Divisional Budget for PCSO transport following the review.
Insp Franklin hopes the situation will be resolved in two or three weeks.
POLICE TO GIVE FOUL YOBS THE RED CARD
09 May 2006
YOBS in Horncastle could soon be shown the red card in a new initiative aimed at reducing nuisance behaviour. With the football World Cup just around the corner East Lindsey District Council will be piloting the 'early intervention' scheme aimed at ten to 13-year-olds.
It involves police and community support officers handing out yellow and red cards to troublemakers, just like football referees, in a bid to deter youngsters from bad behaviour before it gets to the point where acceptable behaviour contracts or even anti-social behaviour Orders (ASBOs) are needed.
Adrian Bellamy, of ELDC's Anti-social Behaviour Team explained: "The cards are about taking positive action and it is hoped they will have a decisive effect in tacking anti-social behaviour at an early stage.
"What we are trying to achieve is nipping the problem in the bud, before it causes concern, anxiety and upset in the community."
Horncastle Insp Daryl Pearce explained: "Any initiative which looks to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and crime in the early stages comes with our full support and we look forward to working in partnership with the anti-social behaviour team from ELDC."
The initiative will be piloted in Horncastle and Louth and if it proves a success will be rolled out across the whole of the district.
Do you think this scheme will nip bad behaviour in the bud? Just click here to email your views
| 4 May 2006|
Tough choices for council as targets are not met
WREXHAM’S much-lauded neighbourhood wardens could be axed under a radical shake-up which could save about £1 million a year.
Details outlined in a report to the corporate governance and policy scrutiny committee compiled to provide information on the operation of the scheme in 2005-06, advise of the opportunity for the council to become involved in the expansion of the number of Police Community Support Officers, and their role, and to help members in their consideration of options for how best to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, reduce the fear of crime, and reassure local communities.
One option is to scrap the warden scheme to make way for about 50 PCSOs.
The report says the 11 wardens have had a positive effect, but statistics indicate the annual target of 10 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour has not been met.
Although reported incidents of anti-social behaviour in most of the 14 areas covered by wardens have fallen, the amount of rowdy/nuisance behaviour has increased in nearly all areas in the past few months.
The option to scrap the scheme in favour of PCSOs is one of four outlined.
The others are: ploughing more money in at the current level, but incorporate more powers; use part of £100,000 headroom budget allocated to tackling anti-social behaviour, which would increase costs per warden to about £26,500 a year; or use the £100,000 to invest in PCSO development, in addition to the warden scheme.
The report says: “The Eastern Division superintendent has recently advised council officers of the proposed phased increase of PCSOs over the next two years. Six were introduced in Wrexham around September, 2004, with a further requirement phase in March, 2005, taking them to 11.
“In 2005 the Government announced its intention to significantly increase the number of PCSOs in 2006/07 and 2007/08. For Wrexham this will result in a further nine in 2006/07 and in 2007/08. By April, 2008, it is anticipated the county borough will have in the region of 48 PCSOs.
“The chief superintendent has requested the council consider investing in the PCSO development to the level of 25 per cent. This would afford the council the opportunity of double badging the PCSOs (Police/WCBC) and, by way of an annual agreement, to be directly involved in setting objectives and targets for PCSO development and participating in some evaluation activities.
30 April 2006
Bus ride banned amid safety fears
A police officer was stopped from using a bus to travel to his village beat because of health and safety fears. The situation began in January, when Police Community Support Officer Ian Yeomans failed to attend a parish council meeting.
It emerged that he did not have his own transport, but could not use the bus until a health and safety assessment was carried out.
Gloucestershire police said the problem had now been resolved.
Inspector Steve Williams said: "There were two difficulties with using a bus - the amount of equipment our officers have to carry and communication.
"We obviously have a duty of care and have to assess the health and safety aspects and logistics of the situation.
"These assessments have now taken place and I'm quite happy to have staff use buses and we can put in place measures to overcome communication problems."
Parish council chairman Mike Stuart, who first raised concerns about the situation, now accepts there were difficulties.
He said: "In a car it's different and there are electronics that can boost the signal, but on a bus he would just have his walkie-talkie."
PCSO Yeomans is now carrying out his duties in a car.
read more on this
Wednesday, 19 April 2006
Force is to axe 150 beat police
Devon and Cornwall Police are removing 150 neighbourhood officers from their beats in the South West.
The proposal has been put forward to meet government targets for fighting serious and organised crime.
Officers will be redeployed to fields such as detective work, and remaining officers will cover larger areas.
A Devon and Cornwall Police statement said neighbourhood policing would be boosted with the recruitment of 180 community support officers this year. The force has received several big increases in spending to fund more community support officers.
But Roy Farmer of the Police Federation said they could not replace police officers.
"They are not equipped to do a police officer's role.
"They don't have the full training that a police officer has over two years, and then on and on through his career." Devon and Cornwall Police would not comment on the proposal but said community support officers were proving a success by tackling anti-social behaviour, low-level crime and reducing the fear of crime. >
The team of Police Community Support Officers patrolling Oxford's Blackbird Leys estate is now complete, with the appointment of Mari-Claire Tutty.
Ms Tutty made her first patrols on the completion of her training in February and is now a key member of the team.
Along with PCSOs Laura Harris, Simone O'Dell and Jacqui Harris, she is helping to provide a visible presence in the streets to deal with low-level crime and antisocial behaviour.
Ms Tutty, based at Cowley police station, said: "Becoming a PCSO has been an ambition of mine and I'm really proud and pleased to be a part of the new neighbourhood team in Blackbird Leys.
"I'm looking forward to getting out and about throughout the area and I want people to recognise me as someone to talk to, someone who can help them and to be able to deal with any problems they may have."
Sgt Ian Uttley, of the Blackbird Leys neighbourhood policing team, who is Ms Tutty's supervisor, said: "Now that Mari-Claire is fully trained and familiar with the area, we have another valuable person in the neighbourhood policing team and we will strive to continue our good work.
"Police Community Support Officers are there to be a good point of contact with the community. Together, we're all working to crack down on crime in Blackbird Leys and to provide the community with a way of letting us know their concerns so we can act on them."
New powers for support officers
Sunday, 2 April 2006, 23:59
Police community support officers have been granted more powers to help tackle anti-social behaviour in Merseyside. Merseyside police Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe has introduced the new rules, from Monday.
The PCSOs will be able to detain a person for up to 30 minutes until police arrive, and take cigarettes and alcohol from those under-age. The officers are being trained for the new roles, which Merseyside police say will help tackle "public priorities". 'Positive feedback' The PCSOs can also take down the names and address of those responsible for anti-social behaviour and authorise the removal of abandoned vehicles.
Ch Con Hogan-Howe said: "The public and partner feedback since the introduction of PCSOs has been very positive and their work is key in the fight against anti-social behaviour. "National evaluation of PCSOs undertaken by the Home Office has highlighted the effectiveness of PCSOs in delivering the neighbourhood policing model. "This is reflected on Merseyside and these changes will enhance our efforts to be the best police force in the country."
Police help in parking clampdown
Monday, 3 April 2006, 16:19
Police community support officers have been brought in to tackle drivers parking illegally in Wrexham.
The council is paying North Wales Police up to £30,000 a year to use the officers, who will specifically target parking in the town. Wrexham has been without traffic wardens since last year. The new officers started work on Monday and, just like traffic wardens, have the power to issue £30 tickets to anyone parked illegally.
Traffic wardens were withdrawn from Wrexham after responsibility for them was passed from police to councils, often resulting in parking chaos in the town centre. The decision was made because police authorities cannot use the revenue from fines to pay for their parking patrols, whereas councils can.
But the council claims it currently only has the power to enforce parking laws in authority-controlled car parks, and not on the streets.
A spokeswoman said the introduction of the officers was a temporary measure, until it has the power to enforce street parking laws.
Deputy leader Bob Dutton said: "It is disappointing that some people have taken advantage of a difficult situation and chosen to deliberately flout the law and park wherever they like." He added: "We have agreed to fund this position by paying for the employment of a police support officer to ease the current unacceptable situation. "We hope this now sees a rapid reduction of illegal car parking in Wrexham." Two of the officers were in Wrexham town centre to launch the scheme on Monday, but eventually just one officer will patrol the streets.
|TWO LIFE SAVING HEROES GET A BIG THANK YOU|
A PAIR of quick-thinking community support officers in Melton have been praised by East Midlands Ambulance Service for helping to save a woman's life.
Rapid response paramedic Ian Trafford has thanked officers Carly Adams and Martin Hall for their help in assisting him when he was called out to a job in Melton town centre.
|forum fun gallery started|
Do you have ANY photos of PCSOs? Your police station? Your cat? Your dog? anything really! Just whiz your pic to falkor WITH a great comment or 2 and we can start a worthwhile fun gallery for the forum members
Duty-free allowance for goods from outside the EU proposed to rise to £1,000. Exemption on stamp duty raised to £125,000 and inheritance tax exemption raised over the next four years from £275,000 this year to £325,000. From April 2008 there will be free off-peak national bus travel in every area of the country for pensioners and the disabled.
The number of Community Support Officers to rise from 6,000 to 16,000 by April next year, costing £100 million.
Public sector pay settlements for this year will average 2.25%. New help for working women who want a wider range of career choices offering higher earnings. By 2020, the British economy will need 14 million highly-skilled workers. There are now 9 million. A review is to be held into better alignment of the National Insurance and Income Tax systems for low-paid workers.
There will be a zero rate of Vehicle Excise Duty for a small number of cars with the lowest carbon emissions, and £40 duty for cars with low emissions. From today, VED rates will be zero, £40 and then £100, £125, £150, £190 and a new band of £210 for new cars that are the most polluting. The duty paid on 50% of cars will be frozen or reduced from tomorrow. Fuel duties to be frozen until September 1.
There will be a nine per cent duty increase on packet of cigarettes from tomorrow, duty on spirits frozen. From midnight on Sunday, a penny on a pint of beer, duty on champagne and cider frozen.
I decided to have a go at sculpture and chose “cat woman” as my subject.
The trouble was she just would not sit still, and I don’t think my first attempt at sculpture is all that flattering, what do you think?
I would describe my art work as trying to capture the beauty that is inside. But you may have to smash the sculpture to find that. Lol.
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