Police community support officers cut by over 10%

31 Jul 2023

EMBARGO: Immediate Release

The Conservative Government has taken nearly 1,000 police community support officers (PCSOs) off the streets in just one year, new Home Office statistics have revealed today. 

This took the total number of PCSOs on the streets across England and Wales to a measly 7,806. 

The new workforce statistics, released today, showed the number of full-time equivalent PCSOs in each police force as of March 2023, compared to March 2022. 

The worst hit police force was Kent, where more than half of their PCSOs have been slashed in just one year - down to 136, from 287 in the previous year. 

Following closely behind was Surrey, with a 41.5% decrease, and Bedfordshire, with a 26.4% decrease. 

The Liberal Democrats have slammed the Conservative Government for these figures, arguing that years of putting resources in the wrong places has decimated frontline policing, including PCSO numbers. 

The party is calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and focused on their local neighbourhoods. 

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

“Millions of families and pensioners rely on these hard-working local officers to support them. By slashing their numbers into oblivion, this Conservative Government is making our communities less safe.

“Ministers are happy to sit in their Westminster offices while our police forces suffer the brunt of brutal cuts and local people pay the price.

“It’s just not good enough. The Conservatives must finally restore the proper community policing that our communities deserve.”


Notes to Editors: 

A breakdown by police force can be found here, based on Table H7, Home Office, Police workforce, England and Wales: 31 March 2023: data tables.

The College of Policing defines PCSOs as a “key liaison point between local communities and policing. Publicly facing, they provide a visible, accessible and approachable uniformed presence in the community to offer reassurance, defuse situations with threats of conflict, improve confidence and trust, gather information and foster good community relations.” 





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