Additional PCSOs could be back on Colnbrook streets by Christmas
Colnbrook could soon have a beefed up neighbourhood policing team if talks between the parish council and Thames Valley Police go as planned.
Thames Valley Police is addressing resourcing issues relating to PCSO coverage for the Colnbrook/Poyle/Foxborough neighbourhood area, while Colnbrook with Poyle Parish Council is considering financing providing new funding.
Parish chair Cllr Scott Bryant told the Slough Observer last week that talks with Thames Valley Police “had been ongoing” about restoring three PCSOs to cover Colnbrook with Poyle by the end of the year – with the possibility of a fourth financed directly by the parish.
Currently the neighbourhood police team consists of PCs Rob Ashcroft and Jenna Rowlands and PCSOs Terrie Parker-James and Kurt Henney. The team is supervised by Acting Inspector Thomas O’Brien.
Parish councillors, led by Cllrs Kinane and Angell, voted to end the £34,000 a year PCSO subsidy in June 2016 after months of uncertainty. Meetings between the previous chair and vice-chair and senior officers at Thames Valley failed to find a way forward and several councillors expressed frustration at the lack of guarantees over the amount of time PCSOs would spend in the parish. Cllr Grewal had felt that if they could only be visible in the community 50% this was not enough, while former councillor Peter Hood had raised the possibility of funding a Community Warden instead to give the parish direct control. The previous contract placed an expectation on 80% visibility in the parish.
A new relationship has yet to be presented to parish councillors to vote on, and no details have been revealed regarding the cost or any performance measures to form part of the new contract.
Discrepancies between crime statistics reported locally and publicly via the Police portal also caused friction during the period of the last contract, with Thames Valley telling local Neighbourhood Action Groups in September 2015 that it would no longer supply crime figures directly.
However, as reported a week ago, crime in the parish increased by 18% since the PCSO contract ended.