Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn laments PCSO decision during visit to Great Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 15:03 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 22 February 2018
Norfolk could live to regret the decision to scrap its police community support officers.
This was the message from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he joined two police constables on the beat in Great Yarmouth.
The Labour leader paid a fleeting visit to meet supporters and local members of his party and policing in the county was high on his agenda.
He joined town centre beat officers Andy Hunt and Nigel Robinson on a whistle stop tour of the town, starting in the market place and working his way to the seafront.
Here, Mr Corbyn shared his frustration at the decision to lose PCSOs in the county, describing them as “the eyes and ears of the police”.
He said: “PCSOs provide that community link through day to day chats with the general public.
“They help to raise confidence in the community and the feedback the public provides them creates vital intelligence for uniformed officers.
“They are there to liaise with the community and react to things.”
While on patrol with the officers, Mr Corbyn discussed the challenges facing the town’s police, including recent cases of knife and drug crime.
He added: “There are different forms of crime and PCSOs are extremely important when dealing with such problems as anti-social behaviour.
“They are very important to the safety and confidence of the community and help ranking officers deal with more serious incidents as well.”
During his visit, Mr Corbyn was joined by local Labour councillors including Trevor Wainwright and Mike Smith-Clare, and was greeted by numerous supporters requesting photographs and handshakes.
One of these was 19-year-old Paige Lovick, who said: “It was amazing to meet him and I believe he could do great things for Great Yarmouth. It is a seasonal town and I am struggling to get a job in the town so something needs to be done about this.”
Mr Corbyn added: “People in Great Yarmouth are very friendly and welcoming whenever I come here.
“We will fight for every constituency and we have had members of parliament in Great Yarmouth before and will campaign to have one again.”