CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has praised the role Police Community Support Officers play in Wrexham County Borough.
As a result of an Assembly election manifesto commitment in 2011 the Welsh Labour Government is funding 500 additional PCSOs across Wales which has resulted in 20 extra PCSOs being deployed in Wrexham County Borough alone.
The AM said his constituents valued the role PCSOs played in community safety and that the additional officers in Wrexham were much needed at a time when North Wales Police face a 20% cut in their budget by 2015.
Wrexham Council and the Home Office currently fund the costs of 48 full time equivalent PCSOs, with an additional 20 PCSOs in Wrexham being trained and funded by the Welsh Government.
Raising the issue in First Ministers Questions on Tuesday LABOUR AM KEN SKATES said:
“Having met with local PCSOs working the beat in my constituency, I know the valuable role they play in reassuring the public their community is safe and secure. They are not a replacement for warranted officers but they help maintain a high policing visibility in neighbourhoods across Wrexham.
“The Welsh Government is funding 500 extra PCSOs across Wales, with 20 of these being trained and deployed in communities across Wrexham.
“These extra PCSOs are coming on stream at a much needed time. North Wales Police face a massive 20% cut in their budget by 2015 as a result of UK Coalition cuts, meaning £16m less with which to fight crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Across our communities in North Wales we are losing 162 frontline Police Officers by 2015, putting the safety of our communities and the gains we are making in areas like Wrexham in real jeopardy.
“Recent figures from North Wales Police show there were eight hundred fewer victims of crime in Wrexham County Borough in the year ending March 2013 and it is very important the coalition’s policing cuts doesn’t jeopardise this progress.
“It is reassuring that whilst the Tories and Lib Dems no longer care about cutting crime in North Wales, we have a Welsh Labour Government, despite its limited power in this area, committed to making our communities safer.”