PCSOs survive Leeds City Council cuts

Despite facing the biggest budgets cuts in its history Leeds City Council will keep faith with the fight against crime by maintaining its funding for local Police Community Support Officers.

The news that the council will keep its cash input towards the cost of more than 300 PCSO's in 2011-12 at the 2009-10 level, comes as West Yorkshire Police juggles with the task of reducing spending.

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As the council prepares to axe 90m Leeds City Council has announced that funding for police community support officers (PCSO) will not be cut and once again the council will spend 1.4m on PCSOs in the city next year – the same as in 2010/11.

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Public safety and the key role the Council see PCSO's now playing in Neighbourhood Policing in its area are the main reasons the local authority has decided not to stint or reduce its commitment to keeping Police Community Support Officers on the city's streets.

Coun Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council's executive board member for community safety and chair of the city's crime-fighting partnership Safer Leeds, said: "This is a very difficult time in local government and we are having to look very closely at how we spend our money.

"However, as a council we are not prepared to compromise on public

safety."

At present three police division in Leeds have a total of 324 PSCOs working across the metropolitan district.

Most of those are paid for jointly by the council and West Yorkshire Police, though a small number are funded independently.

The goods news for the police force and the areas its serves, comes as Leeds City Council faces the reality of finding ways of making a ten per cent net spending cut before ring-fenced Government grants from next year's budget following the Government's public spending review.

Chief Supt Mark Milsom, of West Yorkshire Police's City and Holbeck Division, said: "We are delighted at Leeds City Council's decision because it demonstrates the strength our of joint commitment to making the communities of Leeds even safer.

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