Michael Fabricant says Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are no
substitute for more police officers. "While I welcome the five police
community support officers heading for the Trent Valley Division, they
are better than nothing, let’s not kid ourselves. They have no powers
of arrest and are no substitute for regular police officers. It is a
lack of funding for the police authority and Government policy that is
forcing Staffordshire Police to appoint PCSOs instead of the real thing.
A Conservative Government would add 40,000 more police officers in
England and Wales which would mean that funding would be provided for an
extra 670 policemen and women for the Staffordshire Police service.
That would make a real difference in places like Lichfield and
"My fear is that on a Friday or Saturday night, PCSOs will find
themselves in an impossible situation with rowdy youths. With no powers
of arrest and with limited training compared with that of police
officers, they may not have time to summon assistance. Given that the
Government does not wish to increase the size of the police force to the
levels needed, I have to wonder why they did not consider building up
the Special Constabulary instead. Special Constables have the same
powers of arrest as regular police officers and similar training. They
have done a fantastic job in Lichfield. I believe that if the
Government had funded additional payments to special constables instead
of setting up PCSOs, the chronic shortages in special constables could
have been overcome."