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.”