Analysis of new Home Office statistics commissioned by the Liberal Democrats from the House of Commons Library has shown the drastic cuts to PCSOs in Derbyshire.
A total of 153 full-time equivalent PCSOs were employed in Derbyshire as of September 2022. This is in contrast to the 163 that were employed in March 2015 - meaning there have been 10 PCSOs cut from the Derbyshire force in that time.
The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Government of letting communities in Derbyshire down by taking Police Community Support Officers off the streets, leading to more crimes going unsolved and victims going without justice. This is at a time when the government have repeatedly promised the electorate that numbers were increased.
The same trend is being seen up and down the country, with the number of active PCSOs falling by an average of 33% in England and Wales since 2015. Nationally, England and Wales have lost 4,068 PCSOs since 2015.
Cllr Ajit Atwal has slammed the Conservatives for this move, which means that fewer police officers are visible on the streets, building relationships - and trust - with local people. The party has called for a return to proper community policing.
Responding to the figures, Cllr Ajit Atwal, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Derby, said:
"These shocking figures prove that Conservative Ministers are yet again failing to prevent crime in Derby and Derbyshire. They should be ashamed.
"Police Community Support Officers play a vital role in keeping our communities safe. The Government should be empowering them to do their job, not slashing their numbers into oblivion."
"Liberal Democrats are calling for a return to proper community policing, where officers are visible, trusted and known personally to local people. We will build communities where people are safe - and feel safe, too."
Source: Home Office, Police Workforce: England and Wales, Jan 2023, Table H7 (various editions) and Table 3. Strength figures include those staff on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.