The reduction in the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) in South Yorkshire is ‘detrimental to the overall good policing across the county’, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Tuesday 4 June).

South Yorkshire Police announced today that it was increasing the number of police officers by 73, but it intended cutting the number of PCSOs by 101, or 78, if current vacancies are taken into account.

Unite, which has 28 PCSO members, said that its members would lose up to £2,500 a year because of the change in shift patterns.

Unite regional officer Shane Sweeting said: “We welcome the increase in the number of police officers, but it should not be at the expense of the PCSOs who do valuable and vital work in communities underpinning the police service.

“PCSOs are particularly needed at key times when anti-social behaviour occurs, such as late evenings and weekends – and that is a very good reason why their numbers should not be cut.

“Overall, we think today’s decision is detrimental to good policing across South Yorkshire – there needs to be a balance between the police with warranted powers of arrest and the important community work that the PCSOs do on a daily basis.

“We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the South Yorkshire Police about the future role, pay and employment conditions of our members, particularly the loss of up to £2,500 a year due to changes in shift patterns.

“We will also ensure that there will be no compulsory redundancies among the remaining PCSOs.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.