Should town’s PCSO be allowed to leave town?

Berkhamsted PCSO James McLean.
Berkhamsted PCSO James McLean.

A POLICE chief has hit back at politicians who said their town’s beat bobby should not work elsewhere.

PCSO James McLean had written a report for Berkhamsted Town Council about what he has done in his patrol areas in the east and west of the town.

But at a meeting, councillors were concerned that it also mentioned cover he had provided for Hemel Hempstead’s police force.

They said given that the council pays for half of the cost of employing him – £14,250 per year – he should spend all of his time in Berkhamsted.

Chairman Ron Cowie said that a PCSO “devoted to Berkhamsted” is not meant to work elsewhere.

Speaking following the meeting Berkhamsted Sgt Peter Huffer said: “Any uniformed member of the constabulary can be deployed where the need is most urgent.

“PCSOs will not be taken away from their beat unless it’s for something urgent or significant.

“Invariably these involve either a major incident, assault or a matter of life or death.”

But Berkhamsted Town Councillor Garrick Stevens said despite this, he would still expect the Berkhamsted PCSO to spend at least 90 per cent of his time in Berkhamsted.

He said: “Tring steadfastly refuse to make a contribution to the PCSO, so police should have free rein.

“I am of the view that we pay half of their costs and consequently we should expect to have them in the locality for a respectable amount of time.”

Ian Reay, deputy mayor for Berkhamsted, said Sgt Huffer’s response seemed quite ‘reasonable’

He said: “That sounds fine to me. We have to allow the freedom of the police to deploy as they see fit.”

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