Council blasts plan as policing on the cheap

A COUNCIL committed to cutting crime says it will not pay for police support officers.

Wellingborough Council yesterday voted against calls from the Labour group to stump up half the cost of two police community support officers.

Leader of the opposition Graham Ridge said: "I believe we should put our money where our mouth is. We are not giving proper support to our partners (the police] in this fight against crime."

Kettering and Corby already have six support officers each, with salaries of about 18,000.

They have powers including handing out fines for dog fouling, littering and cycling on footpaths. They also have the power to detain someone for up to 30 minutes.

Labour councillor Paul Crofts said: "We as a council should be ashamed that we are not fully participating in this."

Tory Paul Bell argued the officers would not be able to make arrests or carry batons, CS gas or handcuffs.

He said: "We are being asked by the Labour group for policing on the cheap."

Chairman of the social, cultural and housing committee, which recommended the full council support PCSOs but without paying half, Cllr Patricia Raymond, said: "The police funding should be coming out of mainstream police funding."