THE leader of Test Valley Borough Council has said he is deeply concerned about the number of PCSOs in the borough.

After The Advertiser revealed that district commander for Test Valley, Kory Thorne, had written to parish council leaders about the number of officers at the borough’s disposal, councillor Phil North said he was concerned as the PCSOs are not being replaced.

As reported, there are only 11 PCSOs for the entire borough, and 13 police constables.

Commander Kory Thorne said: “I know that the current PCSO staffing situation will be concerning to you and your communities and as soon as I am able, I will be requesting PCSOs to be redistributed from other areas.”

Cllr North has written to Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Michael Lane, with concerns over the dwindling police presence.

He said: “I am deeply concerned that PCSOs in Test Valley are not, for the moment, being replaced.

“It is important that the police are adequately resourced to respond to anti-social behaviour in Test Valley and I fear that the decision not to replace PCSOs in the borough will put this at risk.

“I have asked the police and crime commissioner to explain why recruitment to these vacancies isn’t taking place immediately – and have asked for greater resources to be distributed to Test Valley while the review is taking place.”

MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes, previously said she would raise the issue with her Home Office colleagues, having only been informed by The Advertiser rather than Hampshire Constabulary members.

She said: “I am always happy to raise any issue brought to me by Hampshire Constabulary with Home Office colleagues, however, I was only made aware of these most recent numbers after contact with The Romsey Advertiser.”

North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse has also written to PCC Michael Lane, saying he did not understand why immediate action was taken.

PCC Lane previously did not respond to a request for comment about the figures.