All PCSOs in Norfolk are to be axed in a radical shake-up of policing in the county.
The news was delivered yesterday by Chief Constable Simon Bailey as he explained how a start is being made in finding the £10 million in cuts by 2020 imposed by the Government.
The world has changed. I’m a traditionalist, but I can’t be a traditionalist any longer. Bricks and mortar don’t prevent crimeChief Constable Simon Bailey
All 150 PCSOs in Norfolk will disappear. They include 115 frontline officers, seen patrolling the streets.
In total, 175 Norfolk Constabulary jobs are at risk, Mr Bailey said, but this will pay for 96 new police officers to tackle the crime challenges of the future.
Public inquiry offices will also be closed – meaning that the only places offering any sort of face-to-face service will be stations in Norwich, and Wymondham.
Officers and staff currently based at the station in Attleborough will be relocated to share premises with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service.
No station in the county will now be open to the public after 6pm on Sundays.
Mr Bailey said that Norfolk is the first police force in the country to axe its PCSOs and admitted the new model was a radical departure, but said that the force had no alternative.
He said he regretted the end of the Dixon of Dock Green-era but added: “The world has changed. I’m a traditionalist, but I can’t be a traditionalist any longer. Bricks and mortar don’t prevent crime.
“They give people a feel-good factor but they don’t prevent crime.”
He said that PCSOs had been introduced as a cheaper form of policing, but with their limited powers and ‘9 to 5 hours’ could not be used for the sort of policing that needs to be done in the 21st century.