Town may lose Pcso to sort parking

Sudbury Police Station ANL-151229-154425009
Sudbury Police Station ANL-151229-154425009

Sudbury is likely to lose its match-funded police community support officer (Pcso), with consideration over how to best manage its parking problems.

With a reduction in the number of match and wholly-funded Pscos being offered by Suffolk Police following budget cuts, it may be that Sudbury does not re-apply, instead focusing on the problem of illegal and dangerous parking in the town which the police have been unable to deal with.

Suffolk Police is reducing the number of Pscos that councils, schools and organisations can part or wholly fund to just six, with groups now able to apply for these services. In total 68 Pcso jobs will be lost in the county.

Sudbury mayor Jack Owen praised the services of the Pcso that the town currently match funds but said the savings could be used elsewhere.

“I believe we have lost ours,” he said. “I have spoken to Jacqui Howells [town council clerk] and we were talking about what we need to do.

“We need to sort the traffic and parking problem which the police cannot do. We were talking about ways of funding something for that.”

Mr Owen insisted nothing had been decided yet, adding the match-funding offer would be considered.

“It was a very useful facility to have an extra Pcso, but on the other hand we are losing control of parking,” he said.

Suffolk Police has said it is looking to give control of road-side parking enforcement to local authorities.

The Free Press was recently contacted by disabled driver Lisa Smith who was finding it almost impossible to park in the town centre, with non-disabled drivers using disabled bays.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: “A meeting for parish and town councils interested in part funding a Pcso to complement the existing Safer Neighbourhood policing provision is being held early in the new year.

“We want to work with our communities to provide a solution which is mutually acceptable.”