New £750k fund to bolster Dudley's thin blue line
A £750,000 war chest to fund extra police community support officers is being offered by Dudley Council in a bid to get more numbers on the beat.
Patrick Harley said it was in response to criticism about a lack of police on the streets and as the authority “strives to make the borough a safer place to live in and visit”.
Cash will be used to fund five new police community support officers posts for the next three years.
The move will be dependant on West Midlands Police match-funding to create a total of 10 new officers on the streets of the borough added to the existing 44.
Councillor Harley, Dudley Council’s leader, said: “I have made it a clear priority of my administration to improve the safety of our residents.
“One thing we are constantly told when we talk to people is that they don’t feel there is enough law enforcement on the streets to deter criminals.
“We are spending millions to breathe new life into our town centres – but people won’t visit them if they don’t feel safe.”
He added: “We are striving to make the borough a safer place to live in and visit.
“A strong, visible uniformed presence really helps towards that.
“This cash will help West Midlands Police put more boots on the ground patrolling our streets at the times when the public will see it and feel reassured.”
The announcement comes weeks after it was revealed that plans were in the pipeline for a new police station in Dudley town centre.
Blueprints for the station are being drawn up by West Midlands Police to build a new base on council-owned land off Hall Street.
The station will have a front desk open to the public, marking the return of a permanent police presence in Dudley for the first time since the closure of the New Street station in 2017.
The cash for new PCSOs has been agreed as part of the authority’s budget proposals and will go before Dudley Council’s cabinet at a meeting next week for approval.