Nottinghamshire Police defends £7m cost of PCSOs

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Nottinghamshire's 265 police community support officers (PCSOs) cost the county £7m in wages in 2009/2010, it has emerged.

The figure is up from £354,000 in 2008/2009, according to a Freedom of Information request (FoI) by the Press Association.

In Nottingham PCSOs detected just six crimes but senior officers insisted their role was community-based prevention and not detection.

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: "They can deal with the problems that the community tell us are their priorities, whether it be speeding, littering, youth nuisance, disorder, noise - they're the things that we focus them on."

'Community priorities'

He added that some crimes were detected by PCSOs but "that's not a priority".

"They're there to deal with community problems, that are community priorities," said Mr Eyre.

PCSOs do not have the full powers of regular police officers.

In Leicestershire the 237 PCSOs cost slightly more than £5m.

PCSO Phil Iley, Leicestershire Police's volunteers policy development manager, said: "Our PCSO colleagues are a very valuable part of neighbourhood policing, tackling the crime and anti-social behaviour that matters most to people locally."

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