Community Support Officers

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 10th May 2004.

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Photo of James Paice James Paice Shadow Secretary of State (Home Office) 2:30 pm, 10th May 2004

The Home Secretary knows full well that a Conservative Government will add 40,000 police officers. What is more, we will tell police authorities that they can choose whether to spend the money on CSOs or on real police officers. That is real local accountability.

Can the Home Secretary tell us about training for CSOs and how much they have had? Can he confirm that the length of training can vary from just one week to five weeks or more, whereas basic training for real police officers is being cut from 15 weeks to 12? Is it any wonder that people suspect that the Government have a hidden agenda to de-skill policing and use CSOs on our streets to replace real police officers?