The Town Council has taken up the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s offer to provide the town with an additional, locally funded PCSO for the next two years to address some local matters that would otherwise be a low-priority for the Constabulary.
The decision was, in part, prompted by the reported two-year delay to civil parking enforcement – where district councils will take over the role of on-street parking enforcement – which had originally been scheduled to take effect from April 2019
Mayor of Felixstowe, Cllr Graham Newman said, “Whilst we are fortunate in having a very low level of serious crime in Felixstowe, many residents are concerned about illegal, anti-social and inconsiderate behaviour, particularly involving the use of motor vehicles. We appreciate the Police service is tasked to target serious crime throughout the County, but Town Councillors consider a more visible police presence in the Town is necessary. A dedicated PCSO should help to counter these perceived problems, at least until Civil Parking Enforcement is introduced in the town“.
While many towns and parishes have sponsored PCSOs in the past, the new scheme offers a guarantee that the officer will work within the geographic area of the sponsoring agency – in this case, Felixstowe – rather than integration into the wider Safer Neighbourhood Team. Sponsored PCSOs can only be deployed to other duties in exceptional circumstances. For example, attending a major incident.
Felixstowe’s new PCSO will begin work on 1st December under the direction of the Felixstowe and District Safer Neighbourhood Team. Working collaboratively with the Town Council, they will be tasked to provide a visible and reassuring presence to our streets, on hand to help people on a day to day basis, gathering local intelligence and addressing other issues in Felixstowe such illegal parking.
They will work within the local policing team and remain directly accountable to the local Sergeant, who will liaise with the Town Council on a regular basis to identify local priorities to ensure ongoing community needs are being met.
Suffolk Constabulary pays for all training, uniform and equipment for a sponsored PCSO, with the Town Council covering the salary and on-costs associated with the role at £34,000 per year for the next two years.
Under the arrangement, the Town Council will receive monthly reports detailing the PCSO’s activities in addition to those of the Safer Neighbourhood Team. The PCSO will also be regularly available to the public at the Town Hall between 10am-1pm on the first Wednesday of every month.
Anyone wishing to report crimes or concerns that do not require an emergency response are reminded to contact 101 or make a report via www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something.
In an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened – you should always call 999.