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Meet Bury St Edmunds' new PCSOs

PUBLISHED: 12:03 14 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:03 14 April 2019

PCSOs Mark Ellis and Jessica McLeod say the community's response to their new role has been 'very positive' Picture: ARCHANT

PCSOs Mark Ellis and Jessica McLeod say the community's response to their new role has been 'very positive' Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The two new PCSOs patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds say the response from people to their presence in the town has been “very positive”.

The new PCSOs patrol the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANTThe new PCSOs patrol the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ARCHANT

Mark Ellis, 57, and Jessica Cullen-McLeod, 37, are five weeks into their new two-year posts as community support officers, which have been fully funded by Bury St Edmunds Town Council.

PCSO Ellis, who lives at Fornham All Saints, is no stranger to the community as he grew up in Bury and spent a large proportion of his 31-year career as a police constable working the town’s beat.

He retired as a constable on March 1 before starting his new community role a week later.

“It’s been very positive,” he said. “Even to the horrible side of it, like parking tickets, the response has been ‘good, about time’.

Bury St Edmunds' new PCSOs Jessica Cullen-McLeod and Mark Ellis Picture: ARCHANTBury St Edmunds' new PCSOs Jessica Cullen-McLeod and Mark Ellis Picture: ARCHANT

“People really like the uniformed presence on the street, they don’t really differentiate between us and a police constable, and really like having someone to talk to.”

For PCSO Cullen-McLeod, who lives in Glemsford, the role will be her first in uniform having previously worked in the public protection unit at Essex Police in Chelmsford.

“All my roles had been office-based before and I really wanted a different challenge and to be able to interact and engage with people,” she said.

“My previous role was intelligence-based on computer systems so I wanted something where I could get out and about and meet the public really.

“Being on patrol means we get people coming up to us and we can deal with it straight away, there’s no delay.”

The pair have been focusing on parking, speeding and anti-social behaviour and PCSO Ellis said the town council have flagged up issues in the town which need addressing.

“The council and councillors have been excellent,” he said. “The PCSOs who are being funded by councils are being left alone to do the role they were brought in for.

“The constabulary have control of us but they are totally aware where the funding has come from and have basically said ‘you will do that’.”

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I’m really pleased that Bury Town Council is continuing to fund PCSOs to work in their community.

“These additional PCSOs make a great deal of difference by improving policing visibility and enhanced communication with the constabulary.

“The impact that Bury’s funded PCSOs make to parking enforcement in the town has been extremely well received. I wish Mark and Jessica well in their new roles.

“Funded PCSOs are very popular with local people elsewhere in Suffolk and I am sure those living, working and visiting in the town will feel the same.”

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