High turnover amongst community police isn't bad news

IN your story (Police urged to stabilise PCSO staffing levels, H&H September 11) your reporter notes that, over the last five years, more than 50 per cent of Camden PCSOs have moved on to become fully fledged police offices. This surely bespeaks inspirat

IN your story (Police urged to stabilise PCSO staffing levels, H&H September 11) your reporter notes that, over the last five years, more than 50 per cent of Camden PCSOs have moved on to become fully fledged police offices.

This surely bespeaks inspiration rather than disillusion. Whereas in Gospel Oak we have seen 100 per cent turnover in personnel over four years, we have absolutely no complaints whatsoever about the level of quality of service or personnel, from sergeant to PCSOs.

This is because partnerships between our SN team, council agencies, ward councillors and voluntary groups were firmly forged in early days and an ongoing culture of best practice ensured a seamless handover between the old and the new. So why the 'bad news' story?

The fact is that virtually every Safer Neighbourhood team in Camden is able to report a significant drop in reported crime year on year, and this is very clearly reflected in the borough-wide figures recently reported by the borough commander.


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I am honestly disappointed that other SN chairs fell so easily for the negative agenda offered by your report, when I know that all have a highly positive story to tell.

A key objective of SN policing is not simply to reduce the incidence of crime but to reduce the fear of crime. Camden police have turned in a major reduction in reported crime.

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Is it really the task of the Ham&High to stoke the fires of fear, uncertainty and doubt, rather than encouraging the community at large to buy into a success story?

Or should we accept that only bad news, however selective, sells newspapers?

Chris Fagg

Chair, Gospel Oak Safer Neighbourhoods

Citizens' Panel (GOSNP)

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