Town to get two new PCSOs

Former Bury St Edmunds PCSO Emily Howell. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Former Bury St Edmunds PCSO Emily Howell. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

There’s set to be two new faces patrolling the streets of Bury St Edmunds in the next few weeks.

It is set to cost the council £34,000 a year for each post and hopes are high that they will be operating in and around the town by the start of the spring, once the recruitment process has been completed.

The PCSOs will work with councillors to identify problem areas in the community, with potential issues such as drivers who leave their car engines idling and anti-social beheavour by boy racers who gather in the Arc car park overnight.

The funding runs from January this year to the end of December 2020 and follows on from a similar arrangement which began in 2016 with the appointment of the first council-funded PCSO Emily Howell, who left in September last year to become a full-time police officer.

Greg Luton, the clerk of the council, said: “About a couple of years ago we decided to find the funds to support a PCSO and we are now carrying out the recruitment for the next two.

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“We were very pleased with how that worked and the council is to fund the two new posts and the recruitment process is underway and we are reasonably optimistic that we will have the two in post by the Spring.

“We are delighted to continue to sponsor PCSOs and we have been working with the Safer Neighbourhood Team with Suffolk Police and they are optimistic that we will find the right calibre of recruits and we are looking to see the PCSOs dealing with local issues that concern us all.

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“This is an exciting development for us and one we’ve been waiting for for some time and we will pay £34,000 per PCSO for two years.”

When Emily was appointed she was welcomed by the town and met with a variety of challenges.

She said the path to her new role began with watching episodes of television series “CSI” when she was growing up.

Emily studied forensic science at Lincoln University before deciding she wanted a more “proactive” role with the police.

But her job was a new step for Suffolk as she was paid for entirely by the town council, meaning she only operated within the town area and responded directly to areas of concern brought to the council’s attention.

“The one thing that got me into forensic science was ‘CSI’ on telly and the old ‘NCIS’. I knew it wasn’t going to be the same though,” she said.

Nevertheless, the interest in crime scene investigation work led her to study sciences and then she went onto university, graduating in 2014.

“Originally, I thought I would become part of crime scene investigation, that sort of thing,” she said. “It wasn’t until after university and having done three years in forensic science, [that I thought] I’m such an active person. I’m proactive and like to be on the front line of things. I realised this kind of a role would be more suited to me and here I am.”

“I’m quite glad I got to be a PCSO because I think you build up a lot of knowledge,” she said. “You’ve got better connection with the community. You’ve got more time talking and building a rapport with people.”

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