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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