The number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) on the streets has fallen dramatically by 27.8% since 2015. 

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 Sussex.

A total of 234 full-time equivalent PCSOs were employed in Sussex as of September 2022. This is in stark contrast to the 325 PCSOs that were employed in March 2015 – meaning there have been 91 PCSOs cut from Sussex Police in that time. 

The Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservative Government of letting communities in Sussex down by taking Police Community Support Officers off the streets, leading to more crimes going unsolved and victims going without justice

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.

Liberal Democrat candidate for Eastbourne, Josh Babarinde, has slammed the Conservatives for this move, which means that less 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, Josh Babarinde, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Eastbourne, said:

“These shocking figures prove that the Conservatives are yet again failing to invest in preventing crime in Eastbourne. It’s so disappointing that our town is being so let down.”

“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.”