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Fenland has seen warranted police officers increase six-fold since 2017




Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable has offered reassurances that Fenland will continue to be well policed despite plans to cut PCSO numbers across the force.

Speaking after his announcement this week on proposals that would see the number of PCSOs reduced by half from 80 to 40, together with the loss of six community safety officer posts plus the closure of nine enquiry offices and a further loss of six staff there, Chief Con Nick Dean admitted the decisions were not being made lightly.

But he explained changes needed to be made to save the force £1.7m to help plug a budget gap.

Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable Nick Dean said difficult decisions have had to be made.
Cambridgeshire's Chief Constable Nick Dean said difficult decisions have had to be made.

However, he said: "I want to offer the people Fenland reassurance that I'm committed to neighbourhood policing, but the over riding driver for these changes is financial."

He said since 2017 the neighbourhood policing team had increased from 57 warranted officers to 132 as of the present day and that he said: "really does include the Fenland area".

Mr Dean said the budget gap had prompted difficult decisions to be made but said despite the reduction in PCSOs there would still be a PCSO presence in every neighbourbood.

Modernisation work at Wisbech police station has been halted by the pandemic, but it will be upgraded.
Modernisation work at Wisbech police station has been halted by the pandemic, but it will be upgraded.

He also vowed there would be no police station closures, and that while the enquiry offices or receptions were closing people could still make appointments to see a police officer.

In 2017 Fenland had just two warranted police officers for the whole area, that has now risen to 12 he said.

Mr Dean said Fenland is one of the areas where more officers have been invested and that there are also officers within response teams including CID .

He also said there were plans to invest in Wisbech police station, which at one stage was proposed to move to a planned purposed built new building. Those plans were halted and there were plans instead to refurbish the current station on Nene Parade.

However, the pandemic had halted the modernisation work but he said it would be upgraded to make it fit for purpose in the longer term.

He said: "The facilities at Wisbech police station really are draconian, they have not altered since I was a PC."

As for a more visible police force Mr Dean said they were already working on that and he hoped the public had noticed a greater police presence in their community.

But he said higher visibility on the streets would not help with certain crimes such as domestic violence, online fraud and indecent images of children.

He said: "Those types of crime are more prevalent, police on the streets is not the answer to that. Crime is changing and how we police modern day crime is also having to change.

"Officers on the street are reassuring to the public but it is not always the best use of our resources, it is a difficult balance."

Read more: Proposed changes to neighbourhood policing in Cambridgeshire means job cuts are on the cards



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