Cost of police commissioner’s unpaid army of volunteer PCSOs would be at least £1.8m

Ch Insp Mark Housley Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Alan Hardwick answered questions in Grantham on Tuesday night. 045A
Ch Insp Mark Housley Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire Alan Hardwick answered questions in Grantham on Tuesday night. 045A
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The new Police and Crime Commissioner’s plan for a 1,000-strong “army” of volunteer, unpaid PCSOs will cost hard-up Lincolnshire Police at least £1.8m - and that’s just the price of equipping them.

The figure came to light as the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Lincolnshire, Alan Hardwick, faced a grilling in Grantham on Tuesday night (March 5) at a special event organised by Councillor Ray Wootten.

It was Barrie Cox of Grantham North Neighbourhood Group who asked the question: “How much would it cost to uniform 1,000 PCSOs?”

After some momentary head-scratching from the commissioner and Ch Insp Mark Housley of Lincolnshire Police, the figure £1,800 was agreed upon and put forward by the pair.

Mr Hardwick said: “It’s a lot of money but I think it’s very good value for money.”

However, Mr Hardwick dismissed the relevance of the £1.8m figure as he appears to hold out little hope, even at this early stage, of actually getting 1,000 volunteers, suggesting the figure is mainly a public relations exercise aimed at getting people to apply.

He told the meeting: “It’s really about throwing out a challenge. If you say 200 then it’s nothing but people listen when you say 1,000. They listen and they get in touch.

“At the moment it’s a trickle but we are hoping it will become more.”

He added: “We won’t get 1,000.”