Parish councils pay for policing

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West Yorkshire Police is receiving more than £8m a year from other local organisations to help pay for dozens of police officers and hundreds of PCSOs, new figures have revealed.

The force has revealed that the equivalent of 133 of its police officers and 450 of its non-warranted community support officers are partially paid for by organisations including town halls, local parish councils, schools, universities and hospitals.

Across the country, police forces’ coffers are being bolstered by millions of pounds a year in additional cash from external sources, over and above the main taxpayer funding from the Government and council tax bills, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In West Yorkshire, a total of nearly 133 full-time equivalent police officer roles are funded by external bodies at a cost of £5.2m a year. The force’s FOI response says they include schools, housing associations, shopping centres, universities and children’s services.

The overall cost to employ a West Yorkshire Police PCSO is £31,524 a year, and of the 565 employed by the force 450 are partially-funded by outside organisations, at an annual total cost of £3m. The remaining 115 are entirely paid for by the force itself.

A number of parish councils pay out thousands of pounds a year as a contribution towards having PCSOs in their area.

Todmorden Council contributes £19,000 a year towards the cost of two PCSOs, while Morley Town Council pays £56,000, representing 30 per cent of the cost of six PCSOs. Parish and town councils in Drighlington, Gildersome and Horsforth also pay for volunteer officers.