Hatfield could lose two PCSOs after town council withdraws funding

PUBLISHED: 09:41 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:43 07 March 2014

Cllr Mick Clark

Cllr Mick Clark

Archant

Hatfield may lose two PCSOs after councillors voted to withdraw almost £30,000 in funding and pay for dog wardens instead.

"I think we should use it in a more central way looking at this, dog wardens in the town and other things, and leave the police to do what they are paid to do. "

Council leader Mick Clark

Hatfield town councillors decided against continuing to pay £28,500 to fund a PCSO on the “buy one get one free scheme” from April 1.

The scheme works by the council agreeing to pay for one PCSO to patrol the town with the police match-funding another.

Under a previous scheme officers were funded to look into issues raised by the town council, but clerk Carrie Lloyd told Wednesday’s full council meeting that after law changes there was “no guarantee” officers were doing what the council asked anymore.

“We have lost a great deal of our powers,” she said.

It was agreed by councillors that funding dog wardens to patrol the area would be of more use to Hatfield residents.

Council leader Mick Clark said: “I think we should use it in a more central way looking at this, dog wardens in the town and other things, and leave the police to do what they are paid to do.

“And I would like to really suggest that we look at other ways we can look at areas that give cause [for concern] to people.”

Cllr Kim Langley said: “I would rather this council looked into getting a dog warden for Hatfield people.”

It was generally agreed by councillors that the presence of the PCSOs did not have an effect on town centre drinkers.

It is not clear whether police will continue to fund one of the two posts.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ian Grout said: “We understand that Hatfield Town Council has made the decision not to continue the funding for a PCSO for the next financial year.

“We thank them for their support in the past and understand their decision, given budget pressures.

“We will assess the situation in the coming month in terms of what will happen next.”

A spokeswoman for the police added: “There is always a balance to strike in how resources are deployed to meet the wider needs of the local community and this is something which the funding party is aware of when they agree to become a partner.”

What do you think? Email letters@whtimes.co.uk

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