‘We could foot bill to keep PCSO on the road’

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A car could be bought for a village crimefighter using public money after his vehicle was taken away by police bosses.

Kings Langley Parish Council is considering splashing out on a small car for its police community support officer Ian Martin, who also covers Nash Mills.

Councillor Alan Anderson has written to Herts Constabulary to see if the force, which has told PCSOs to use buses or a bicycle to get about, would support the move.

The cutback has come under heavy fire from parish councillors, who fear their officer will spend more time travelling and less time helping villagers.

Mr Anderson said: “The policy was probably one of those things that looked like a good idea at the time as a desktop exercise.”

Police chiefs say the role of PCSOs is to be a visible and reassuring presence in the community and the best way to do this is on foot or bike.

Herts Constabulary spokesman Hannah Williams said: “PCSOs do not respond to emergencies or where there is an immediate blue light response needed, so they don’t need vehicles in the same way as their police officer counterparts.”

Across Herts the car fleet has been reduced by 24 vehicles, of which three are in Dacorum – at Tring, Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead. However, the two vehicles covering Tring and Berkhamsted have been replaced by 4x4s so it is only the Kings Langley and Nash Mills officer that is left without his own vehicle.

The force does have a pool of cars available but priority is given to officers who respond to emergencies.

Ms Williams said: “We are aware that Kings Langley Parish Council has proposed funding assistance and we are working with them to discuss how they may support police activity to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and ensure that any money is put to best effect.”