Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

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Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by falkor » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:03 am

according to the Express & Star 2,000 police officers - including the force's 605 PCSOs - who work in West Mids Police have been warned they will no longer be shielded from the effects of Government budget cuts.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:42 pm

Thanks for the link, interesting reading indeed. I can see this rolling out throughout the country given the 40% extra budget reduction demanded by Osborne, what exactly are the Chief's going to do ? They have already picked the ' low hanging fruit ' and now they need to start hacking at the core of policing ..... NPT. I love being a PCSO and feel we can be a real benefit to the community but when times get this tough i can see that our role is a luxury and a nice to have..... but not totally essential to the protection of the public. We do have limited powers and a job role where ' hands on ' is not allowed, its one that when push comes to shove we often need to call for a Police Officer to deal with whatever incident we have come upon or been called too that is beyond our remit...... not ideal. I did like the comment from the police fed rep..... as if he or they give a monkey's chuff about us, they hate us and have always campaigned for more Police Officers and to get rid of PCSO's !, they will be well chuffed at what is to come.

I work for one of the largest forces outside London and i would be amazed if by the end of the year this has not been put onto the table. The first step will be a volunteer list for those who want to go, after this i can see redeployment being the next logical step with PCSO's being offered roles in dept's that need further staff, and then the hard decision of forced redundancies. The top reason (as usual) for being at the top of this list will be sickness and then if you have been subject to disceplinary action. Hard times ahead i am afraid.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by 7133 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:11 pm

Probably not the consensus on here but I'm amazed PCSO's lasted this long. Anyone can see what's coming which is one of the many reasons i've just left after 11 years. The fact is that PCSO's are paid a lot of money, cops cannot be easily made redundant, cuts have already been made in other areas. What's left?

I'm interested to see what will happen crime-wise as more cuts are made. I think we all know the answer to that. PCSO's did make a massive impact in reducing crime and the fear of it, but so did fudging figures. Saying that though, where I work I can honestly say that i've seen first hand the positive impact of neighborhood policing. The job has just come to the end of the road for me. Tired of it.

Good luck to you all 8)
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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:10 pm

Good luck with your new role, we all need a change every now and again and being a PCSO is no different. I too think we are well paid and in tough monetary times we are an easy target, as you say Police Officers can not be made redundant so they are '' protected ''. I do get a tad naffed off though when various members of the public come up to me and say how sorry they feel for Police Officers who are being sacked :slroll: , i simply give up. I don't think the role will be got rid of totally but i do see a cull of at least 30-40%.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by falkor » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:23 am

PCSO's did make a massive impact in reducing crime and the fear of it, but so did fudging figures.
quite agree with you, crime figures were a fraud in many many cases and where is the explanation for that? who took responsibility for that?

11 years is a long time as a PCSO, did you try to move sideways? Control room? IO? SOCO? something else? :slww:
Probably not the consensus on here but I'm amazed PCSO's lasted this long.
Yes PCSOs had their own Home Office funding for many years, in fact it was so LUCRATIVE to some forces e.g THE MET, that front counters were sudddenly manned by PCSOs instead of front counter civvvies who were told "JOIN AS A PCSO!" many of them lost their jobs so that the MET could save £thousands and £thousands - PCSOs were funded by the Home Office so because of that PCSOs were suddenly on every front counter in THE MET

after quite a few years the funding stopped, so strangely .... PCSOs were then no longer on front counters, funny that! back to civvy staff again
I too think we are well paid and in tough monetary times we are an easy target, as you say Police Officers cannot be made redundant so they are '' protected ''.
in either case "Neighbourhood Policing" has already seen PCSOs and PCs who leave simply not replaced, allowing the neighbourhood unit to slowly whittle down in size. PCs cannot be made redundant but CCs know that if you simply don't recruit PCs, the number of PCs reduces anyway in time
West Midlands Police Federation deputy chairman Tom Cuddeford declared: "The next few years are going to be very worrying for police officers and staff. We are going to lose some excellent PCSOs.

"The force has got to be open and honest with the public and say clearly what we can no longer do. Hopefully other agencies can take those tasks on board.
what do you reckon? will " other agencies take those tasks on board"?

if we are talking "the next few years" then much of it can be done by "wastage" as people leave anyway, simply don't replace them. Someone with 10 years service being made redundant stands to make about £8000 in redundancy money I believe and they would rather not pay that so maybe they will try and get PCSOs to move sideways? Control room? IO? SOCO? something else? which one would you pick? :slch2:
The top reason (as usual) for being at the top of this list will be sickness and then if you have been subject to disceplinary action. Hard times ahead i am afraid
Yes I have personally seen this in action, they call it by different names, "attendance" is a great substitute phrase for criteria sometimes, at the end of the day the ones with the worst sickness records are gone - justified or not it's at the top of the list alright

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:31 pm

Your right about the crime figures but now they are going in the opposite direction as every single crime or 3rd party report of a crime is ...... crimed ! The Home Office are always telling us that we don't need as many officers because crime figures show its falling, so whats the best mitigation to this ? Get the crime figures up :slbl:

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by powdermonkey » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:51 pm

Here in WYP we’ve been told that the current number of PCSO’s is unsustainable but we’ve not been given any details on how many are or how the reductions are to be made. I’m expecting some form of a matrix with scoring based on attendance, annual PDR results, disciplinary and length of service. I doubt that any good work awards will be taken into account. I’ve seen this system used before and how so many staff were lost in a short time, together with a vast amount of experience and knowledge, that the dept could not manage its workload and had to recruit, with the associated costs of training etc.

I can see the police withdrawing from certain tasks, such as drugs awareness and leaving it for schools to do, or outsourcing (do Securitas still scene guard in Dorset?). No doubt G4S will pick up contracts despite the balls up they made of security at the London Olympics or the allegations of abuse of asylum seekers. Strangely enough, the person who advised G4S on outsourcing contracts is a chap we’ve met before - Tom Winsor. No conflict of interest of course. Perish the thought. I’ve also heard that Theresa May and/or her husband hold shares in G4S. I can’t find anything on the internet and would expect it to have been a big story if true.

My NPT team has reduced from 11 PC’s and 13 PCSO’s to 5 PC’s and 12 PCSO’s in 8 months. We’re about to lose 2 of the PCSO’s to “natural wastage”. Of the 5 PC’s left, one is an office based investigator and one is long term sick. So, when Sara Thornton says don’t expect the police to attend burglaries she is right. I expect some form of screening process as with vehicle crime. If entry has been made by an insecure door and the search was tidy, then why send a PC? Book SOCO and let a PCSO do house to house/CCTV check/security advice. Are the police giving up on crime? Of course we are. Durham Constabulary now caution for small cannabis grows which indicates how many resources they have to allocate to fighting drugs.

This, Theresa May should understand, is what happens when you force such drastic cuts on the police. Staff numbers drop and, as any soldier will tell you, if you don’t have the troops you pick and choose your wars.

If you’ve managed to get this far through my blatherings, feel free to turn your face to the wall and weep, for the job is well and truly f*cked.

I’ll wait to see if I’m offered a decent redundancy package and may then sod off and take early retirement plus a part time job. I hope not, because I enjoy the job and want to keep going. I’m nearly 56 and don’t really want to redeploy and have to learn a new job but it has to remain an option.
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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:09 pm

Agree with your comment on us withdrawing from certain tasks that are done now, the community events, crime reduction advice, the leaflet drops and knock on's following a burglary etc.... again these are nice to have's but when the hammer falls it blue lights and coppers that the public will choose, if a choice is needed, and who can blame them really.

I am already starting to look at what else i could be doing, getting my cv up to date and simply preparing myself for what i know is to come. There are a number of Pcso's i know who have an awful sick record, i see them going in the first wave. The last time we had redundancies one thing that was at the bottom of the list was time served, we were told that how long you have done does not indicate you would be of benefit to the force! They had a point as not long afterwards i met a pcso that had been in from day one and he was terrible at the job :slsa: He should of never been hired and has zero people skills or empathy.

If this role is to come to an end then i have had a great time and felt for the first time in a career to have really helped people, that is worth something at least.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by powdermonkey » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:39 am

Hudson,

I have no idea how much weight would be given to time served, or even if it will be used but I think it will. I've worked for the police for 23 years so the cost of making me redundant could be quite high compared to other PCSO's. The thing I'm not sure of is how many years they'd count : I worked for one force for 12 years and transferred to WYP 11 years ago. WYP might say that they're only liable for the 11 years but they linked the two when I got my long service medal so it seems as if it's viewed as continuous service.

As for the future, I think the surviving PCSO's will face cuts to shift and weekend allowances, maybe even the loss of them and be moved to straight Mon - Fri days. Any new recruits might be on fixed term contracts with the chance of them being renewed. There are times when I feel we should stand firm on what our contracts say e.g. refuse to go to any jobs with a hint of confrontation, no volunteering to stay on duty to help out. I doubt it will happen, partly because we have that commitment to helping people and partly because many PCSO's see the role as a route to the regulars and won't want to be flagged as "bolshy" or whatever.

I don't think the role will end but the numbers will be drastically reduced. As for how the role will change, well, we all know it's massively different from how it was at first. The question is, how will it be in the future. Some colleagues, both police and PCSO, think our role will be more policing orientated rather than community contact based. I can't see that happening, certainly not officially (how you're deployed and how you react to that is another matter) because the more we're used as substitute warranted officers the more likely two things will happen. First, there'll be pressure to increase our pay to reflect the role change. Two, the Federation will resist to protect its members. If we are used more on policing tasks (carrying crimes etc) the more difficult it will be for a force to manage when our numbers are reduced. Once our numbers are cut, a force is going to have to use police officers more and more to do what we've been doing, house to house, CCTV enqs, scene guarding, neighbour disputes, parking problems etc etc. The alternatives are stringent screening of what crimes will require police attendance and outsourcing. Those PCSO's that are left will find themselves with bigger areas to cover which by definition reduces community contact, local knowledge and intelligence gathering - they just wont have the time to give the same level of attention that they could to smaller areas.

I don't know about West Mids, but WYP does have a good reputation for redeploying rather than redundancy but there are only so many posts available and not everyone at risk will want to redeploy and some might not be suitable.

It's a pretty bleak and uncertain future we PCSO's and other support staff face.
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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by ninjamonk » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:23 pm

I do think there are dark times ahead for PCSO's unfortunately. I believe that the role will change for us. I would imagine they will get rid of NBM's and we will have more of a specialist role, like dealing with youth crime and education in schools, much like Youth intervention Officers. I know they have rolled out trials where certain PCSO's from each station gets the opportunity to go on specialist courses and at the end they will be able to deliver internet safety to schools.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:01 pm

ninjamonk wrote:I do think there are dark times ahead for PCSO's unfortunately. I believe that the role will change for us. I would imagine they will get rid of NBM's and we will have more of a specialist role, like dealing with youth crime and education in schools, much like Youth intervention Officers. I know they have rolled out trials where certain PCSO's from each station gets the opportunity to go on specialist courses and at the end they will be able to deliver internet safety to schools.
I honestly can not see that happening in my force, if they cut us in half then i suspect the types of '' soft '' jobs we go to now will be cut back and that will include school visits, community days, crime reduction stands etc, they are all great in times of lots of officers but not when you have fewer. The officers lost would be made redundant for a reason...there is no cash, if you then just carry on as normal with the types of jobs we have always done then what real change has there been apart from spreading the remaining officers in an even thinner line ? To keep this role going we have to make ourselves indispensible to the INPT's and other police officers....we have to be seen as really useful, so much so that what we do can not simply be put to one side and not done, it would have to be done by police officers if we were not there ! Thats the only way this job will be saved in any form, not by continuing what we do or slight changes on the ' theme ' of what we do.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Big Brother » Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:31 am

I can't say much, not without wanting to reveal what force I'm in. But the soft jobs will go, we've lost quarter of our PCSOs and those that are left have been redeployed to busier areas. Don't rely on your redundancy package being good, for 12 years service mine would have been £6000.......
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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:07 pm

Big Brother wrote:I can't say much, not without wanting to reveal what force I'm in. But the soft jobs will go, we've lost quarter of our PCSOs and those that are left have been redeployed to busier areas. Don't rely on your redundancy package being good, for 12 years service mine would have been £6000.......

Our PCSO's have not been affected..... yet, but all the pragmatic officers know the clock is ticking, we have response officers running around like headless chickens just about avoiding disaster.... whilst we visit schools and chat to kids about '' stuff '', it can not and will not continue. When the ship is sinking the passengers who survive will not be the ones asking the captain if the evening dance is still on ! They will be the ones that go looking for the life boats and start to evacuate. Like the dinosaurs before us, we have to change or fade away. There a great many of my number who think what i say is just rubbish and that we will be fine..... utter madness. I am certainly getting my mind in order for a possible change of job but many simply seem to be buried in sand. I would predict a 50% cut in numbers in my force and a change of role for those remaining, anything less is a pleasant surprise and a welcome event.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by ninjamonk » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:54 pm

Hudson wrote:
ninjamonk wrote:I do think there are dark times ahead for PCSO's unfortunately. I believe that the role will change for us. I would imagine they will get rid of NBM's and we will have more of a specialist role, like dealing with youth crime and education in schools, much like Youth intervention Officers. I know they have rolled out trials where certain PCSO's from each station gets the opportunity to go on specialist courses and at the end they will be able to deliver internet safety to schools.
I honestly can not see that happening in my force, if they cut us in half then i suspect the types of '' soft '' jobs we go to now will be cut back and that will include school visits, community days, crime reduction stands etc, they are all great in times of lots of officers but not when you have fewer. The officers lost would be made redundant for a reason...there is no cash, if you then just carry on as normal with the types of jobs we have always done then what real change has there been apart from spreading the remaining officers in an even thinner line ? To keep this role going we have to make ourselves indispensible to the INPT's and other police officers....we have to be seen as really useful, so much so that what we do can not simply be put to one side and not done, it would have to be done by police officers if we were not there ! Thats the only way this job will be saved in any form, not by continuing what we do or slight changes on the ' theme ' of what we do.


I do agree Hudson, in the respect of being more indispensable. I do feel with the responsibility we have at the moment is not much. The trouble is should we gain more responsibility the unions would want more money and the federation will be opposing any development for the role so we are stuck in the middle. I do believe such events like community days etc is a luxury that the police service can easily do with out especially with the budget cuts. I very rarely do such events as i am so busy with workloads etc which is good as i enjoy carrying out low level investigations. Well time will tell on how we fare in austerity as we all know that each force uses their PCSO's differently, so we will have to wait and see, i for one will be here to the bitter end should their be one.

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Re: Hundreds of PCSOs to lose their jobs in West Mids

Post by Hudson » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:26 pm

Agree with you, the union just keeps stopping any suggestions from force HQ for our role to develop and change, its really frustrating to us PCSO's who want to do more and can do more, but some are not so keen and simply see more responsibility equals more money :slra: , what they don't understand that no more usefulness equals NO JOB ! They will go the way of the Dodo. Lets see how it pan's out, i suspect that once the budgets are released to the 43 forces in December (watched the parliment channel and it had this on it) we will see how each force see's fit to distribute it.

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