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Commissioner hails Kent Police frontline presence as 15 freshly-qualified PCSOs take to county streets this week

PUBLISHED: 10:11 03 November 2016

Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, chief constable Alan Pughsley and newly-qualified PCSO Carl Ward

Police and crime commissioner Matthew Scott, chief constable Alan Pughsley and newly-qualified PCSO Carl Ward

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Matthew Scott also said he intends to increase the range of powers available to such officers

Kent’s police and crime commissioner has hailed the force’s success in maintaining a frontline presence in the face of budget cuts as more than a dozen police community support officers (PCSOs) begun working across local district policing teams this week.

Conservative commissioner Matthew Scott, who celebrates six months in the £85,000-a-year role next weekend, joined chief constable Alan Pughsley to watch the 15 new recruits complete their foundation training on October 21.

They became the first batch of new PCSOs to finish the eight-week course since the force began a drive to recruit more officers at the start of the year.

Mr Scott said: “Thanks to sensible forward planning Kent Police is delivering £8.7million of savings this year without any cuts to frontline policing, preserving its number of PCSOs at 300.

“I’ve consistently said that the security of the people of Kent is my priority so it was a pleasure to attend the ceremony at Kent Police College and welcome the PCSOs into the force.

“I want to support them in their work preventing crime and anti-social behaviour and in providing a local reassuring presence within communities.”

Among the new recruits was PCSO Carl Ward who received the Outstanding Student Award for excelling in all aspects of his training and development.

“I was delighted to be able to personally welcome all the new PCSOs into Kent Police,” Mr Pughsley said.

“PCSOs are a vital part of our local district policing model, ensuring local visible community policing is at the heart of everything we do.

“It was wonderful to see the pride on the faces of their family and friends who attended the ceremony. I know they will give the PCSOs all the support they need at home.

“For our part, like all our new recruits, the PCSOs will continue to receive all the training and support they need as they begin what I hope will be long and fulfilling careers with the force.”

Mr Scott added: “I wish them well with their new careers and, on behalf of the people of Kent, thank them for stepping forward to serve their communities.

“Going forward, I intend to discuss with the chief constable opportunities for increasing the range of powers available to PCSOs, to maximise the positive contribution they make.”

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