Westminster police axe more than 200 support officers

More than 200 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are to be cut in Westminster as the force’s bosses look to save millions of pounds.

The cutbacks will see two-thirds of the borough’s PCSOs lost, including more than 50 from Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Some wards have previously enjoyed “enhanced” status with up to six PCSOs. But every ward will now resort back to the standard model of just three.

Church Street, Westbourne, Harrow Road and Queen’s Park are among the wards affected.

Westminster North MP Karen Buck said: “Local police commanders are being put under impossible pressure as the policing cuts bite. My worry is that the whole concept of Safer Neighbourhoods policing is now under threat.”

A police spokeswoman said that the the force remained “committed to providing excellent neighbourhood policing services” but the “austere financial climate inevitably puts pressure on public service budgets”.