07/08/2013 Look East - West


Latest news for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northants.

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the programme tonight: Policing on the cheap, or a high-profile sign of


security on the streets - what's the future role of our Community Support


Officers? Watch your handbags - the gangs


preying on innocent shoppers in the centre of Bedford. Practising for


the Pole - an airman who lost both legs in Afghanistan is heading for


Antarctica. And it's Finals Day for the


Steelbacks as they triumph in the T20. Good evening. They were


initially considered policing on the cheap but have increasingly become


the public face of the region 's police forces. Community Support


Officers, or PCSOs, were introduced ten years ago. There are currently


168 PCSOs in the region and 1350 regular officers. Northants has 125


PCSOs and more than 1200 regular officers. In Bedfordshire there are


only 90 PCSOs fear. PCSOs do not have the power of arrest.


Pending the beat, critics have always maintained that the purpose


of PCSOs is to save pounds. They cannot arrest people but focus on


neighbourhood policing. Issuing parking tickets and confiscating


alcohol, including having a work with this grip -- having a word.


Cambridge police are asking you what you think about PCSOs, but after ten


years the reality is that some others are still not sure what their


powers are. What you think of police Community Support Officers?


They are good, good to have around. Do you know what their powers


actually are? I gather next to none. Not the full power. not a lot of


power, not as much as the normal police. I feel safer and it is good


to have them. They either friendly face of the police.


When the PCSOs first came in, it was not known what they did on Friday


were here. As it has evolved we have become more involved. Police


officers respect that we do different things to what they do and


we have worked well together. Kim Butcher police insist that the


review is not about saving money, but they do have to find �22 million


over four years -- Cambridgeshire police. What they are looking at is


the future of policing. it is a mixed economy. Police officers are


with full powers, PCSOs with next powers, special Constabulary, and it


is would be looking at how all of those resources with different rules


and different responsibilities and different powers come together to


deliver a good policing service. Some believe that the scrutineers


overdue. Since the rule was introduced we have not had a review


like this. It is really important that the taxpayers of Cambridgeshire


get best value for money from the policing service. But many seem


unsure what PCSOs currently do, let alone what the role should be in the


future. There is no way of knowing how much


PCSOs have contributed to fall in crime figures, but they do provide


that presence. It is there a more cost-effective way of doing that? I


asked public services lecturer Julian Constable. The police


Federation for a long time have said that they would prefer and


exhilarate police force, Philippe trained and with powers -- fully


trained. We have the special Constabulary at the moment but that


is not the same kind of organisation as the PCSOs. and also, relying on


volunteers to make up the police force in future. How worried should


people be? There have been some calls to pay police volunteers. Some


forces have been looking at that. The PCSOs however are paid,


therefore it is a direct costs coming out of the police force 's


budget and I suspect that is partly what is motivating this review of


the activities of PCSOs. Across the country PCSOs numbers have been


following recently. What has been the impact of that? we have no


evidence of that rate now at the moment to understand what the direct


evidence of PCSOs is as such. But there have been suggestions that the


cuts to the police service over the last few years are having a direct


impact on the capacity to perform a community and crime prevention


activities. If you do reduce PCSOs numbers it is quite possible that


cheap lease a greater burden on regular police officers -- that you


place a greater burden. What you think is the future for PCSOs?


is very uncertain. What we do know is that there are further cuts in


budget and we know that that has lead to reductions in PCSOs numbers


and police officer numbers and I suspect that that will continue into


the next two or three years. Next, I care workers secretly filmed


sleeping on the job has denied neglecting an elderly resident.


Jackie Ndoro, one of two key workers accused of failing to help the


82-year-old he collapsed. -- who collapsed.


This is where Jackie Ndoro used to work. The court heard she was very


experienced. She cut a lively figure in the witness box as she


strenuously denied neglecting the man, who was found on the floor of


the lounge. She told the court that she had not panicked. She said that


he was chatting away. A bit of help, or something like that. The


prosecution said, you can sure him on CCTV seeing, help me, help me,


and you and your colleagues failed to go to him. She maintained that


she knew nothing about the fall and how she went into the room. She said


her colleague had not raised the alarm. The prosecution said that the


peer manhandled him into the wheelchair and that she should have


made the effort to go and get a hoist.


Why did the assistant manager decided to film these two in the


first place? The court heard that the laundry


room was very quiet when this peer was on the night shift and the


assistant manager was always suspicious about the level of care


that were giving. Jackie Ndoro was filmed falling asleep on the job and


she admitted that she had neglected to do some of her two hourly checks,


which is when she would have changed the wet bedlinen. A jury has been


sent out to consider its verdict tomorrow.


Gangs of Eastern European 's are targeting shoppers in Bedford,


stealing cash. One pensioner had �3000 stolen when followed from the


bank. Elderly people are called that they are the vulnerable targets.


These look like innocent shoppers, but they are callous thieves.


Earlier they watched as an 80-year-old woman withdrew �3000


from a bank, money to pay for her holiday. Now they are following her


into a lift and they are about to steal her cash. She is one of a


number of pensioners being targeted by gangs. They are making an effort


to travel to Bedford to get their victims. These gangs will surround


them. Before they know it, the victims are having their bags dipped


into and their purses taken. The first woman targeted were followed


by the gang into New Look. Another woman had her handbag, containing


�1200, taken from her shopping trolley. it is absolutely appalling


that they should pick on elderly, vulnerable people. It is a level of


depravity that we have not quite known before in this country.


families should talk to them to make them aware that carrying that kind


of money around is not safe these days. Just be extra vigilant. If you


find yourself being followed by people, do you really need that


money on your person when you are walking around the town? Detectives


are now asking anyone who recognises the gang members to come forward.


Workers at the troubled Railcare factory in Wolverton have now been


paid for the first ten days in August but they have been told there


is not enough money to cover wages they have been owed for July. The


company went into administration last week with more than 100


employees been told they will lose their jobs. The National Trust has


spent �1 million restoring our historic town in Wisbech.


But they say that the restoration will eventually pay for itself. The


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