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The number of vacancies within the borough’s safer neighbourhood teams has sparked concerns from a councillor.

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There are currently vacancies for three police constable positions and nine police community support officers in Havering’s Safer Neighbourhood teams(SNT) .

The figure was revealed after a question at Full Council meeting by Cllr Linda Van den Hende (RA, Upminster).

The SNT team with the largest vacancy is in Gooshays ward with a shortage of three PCSOs.

Mawneys, Harold Wood, Heaton, Cranham, Hylands and Emerson park all have positions for one PCSO.

Cranham has two vacancies for PCs, while Elm Park has one vacancy.

Cllr Van den Hende said: “I asked the question about the SNT because I know that there are a lot of vacancies, but they just don’t seem to be getting filled.

“I think the SNT teams do a real vitAL work in their communities and they have been really successful in driving down burglaries and when people see them walking around in the area they feel a lot safer.”

Safer Neighbourhood teams were created five years ago (CHECK) to dedict a team of officers to every London neighbourhood.

It was hoped that they would create a visible prescence in the community and would be additional to other policing teams.

The models for the SNT include one police sergeant, two PCs and three PCSOs.

But some wards now share police sergeants and in Gooshays, which is a super ward, there is one police sergeant, two PCS and six PCSOs.

A spokesman for Havering Police said: “Safer neighbourhood teams in Havering are currently running to a smaller strength.

“An internal recruitment for PCSOs has recently taken place and we expect 13 PCs to join

the borough in coming months. The PCSO recruitment process is currently underway to ensure that the teams are up to strength at the soonest opportunity.”

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