A Daventry village has hired a PCSO paid for by its parish council.
Crick Parish Council has sponsored a dedicated community support officer under a scheme developed by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, as has Prologis Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal.
PCSO Les Conopo and PCSO Duncan Cumming will now work full-time on the Crick and DIRFT beat, only being deployed to other duties in very exceptional circumstances such as a major incident.
The local Police Sergeant, Sam Dobbs, will work with Crick Parish Council and DIRFT to identify their priorities and meet with them on a regular basis to ensure the community’s needs are being met. PCSOs Conopo and Cummings are accountable to Sgt Dobbs and their roles are designed to enhance and supplement the work of Northamptonshire Police, providing a visible and reassuring presence in the area.
Brian Hughes of Crick Parish Council said: “Crick values greatly the work that has been done by our sponsored PCSOs for many years and is very grateful to Prologis for the superb support which they provide to the Parish in making a major contribution to the cost of the sponsorship.
"The visible presence and availability of the PCSOs in the village significantly enhances its safety and security.”
Organisations such as parishes and local authorities have been able to part-fund a local PCSO for some time, sponsoring a percentage of their costs and where the PCSO was then part of the Neighbourhood Policing Team.
Under this new scheme, an organisation will now pay 100 per cent of the costs and receive in return a PCSO who is a dedicated resource for their area, which is much clearer for the sponsoring organisation and better meets their needs.
“We already provide private security for our customers at DIRFT RFI and sponsoring two dedicated PCSOs, and the police powers they bring, enables us to bridge the link between our logistics park and the local community and ensure vital community policing work in the area can continue,” said Steven Haddock Director of Regional Property Management at Prologis UK.
“As the long-term owner of the logistics parks we develop, building a strong relationship with the local community is important for us and it’s great to be working in partnership with Crick Parish Council to deliver real benefit for people local to our development.”
Northamptonshire Police pays for all training, uniform and equipment for a sponsored PCSO, a sponsor covers their salary and on-costs, which totals £37,245 for 2018/19.
There are already fully-sponsored PCSOs working in Daventry town centre and in Kettering and discussions are underway with further parish councils and organisations that want to sponsor their own dedicated PCSO.
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “At a time when other Forces in England and Wales have decided to reduce number of PCSOs because of financial challenges, we have extended an existing scheme to give parish councils and other organisations the opportunity to fully fund a PCSO who will provide a dedicated, visible policing presence in their area.
“I have been delighted by the response from partners who want to enhance the policing service and I know how much people value the presence of a PCSO in their community. PCSOs carry out an important role and this partnership with local organisations will undoubtedly contribute to a safer Northamptonshire.”
Superintendent Emily Vernon, Head of Local Policing, said: “PCSOs are an extremely important part of our policing model and play a key role in engaging with and supporting local communities and partners, to identify and problem-solve local issues.
“We are very supportive of the Sponsor a PCSO programme because of its ability to enable greater partnership working that empowers local communities and supplements their local neighbourhood policing team.
“We welcome the partnership with Crick Parish Council and Prologis RFI DIRFT and look forward to seeing more PCSOs sponsored by other local organisations across Northamptonshire.”