The decision to take away a PCSO’s car for ‘operational’ reasons is being challenged by a parish council, which feels the move is a ‘retrograde step’.
Ian Martin, the police community support officer covering Kings Langley – along with other officers across the county – has been told to use public transport instead, or use a bike.
A police spokesman said: “The decision was made principally for operational reasons.
“As well as assisting police officers in dealing with low level crime and anti-social behaviour, a PCSO’s role is to provide high-visibility foot patrols and public reassurance.
“Travelling by bus from Hemel Hempstead into the adjacent Kings Langley and Nash Mill wards that are covered by PCSO Martin does not in any way diminish the policing service provided in Kings Langley neighbourhood.”
But parish council chairman Bob Mclean fears that the move will have a negative effect on the presence of the village’s PCSO, especially in harder to reach areas around the village.
He said: “We’re worried we’ll get less of him. I can only see this as a retrograde step.
“We were told it’s for operational reasons, but it does seem like a strange term.
“We’re going to raise this issue with a candidate for the role of police commissioner.”
A police spokesman added that police-issue bikes, one of which is available to PCSO Martin in the village, are being used more regularly by uniformed officers as ‘they allow better interaction with the public than cars and still enable large areas to be patrolled’.
It was also stressed that PCSO Martin is just one member of a wider Safer Neighbourhood team that looks after community issues in the village and the surrounding area.