CANVEY Town Council has thousands of pounds set aside for extra policing on the island...but has now been told the scheme has been put “on hold”.

Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst, launched the project allowing councils to fund its own PCSOs, or special constables, to be based in specific areas. The town council has earmarked £5,000 in the forthcoming financial year’s budget to fund officers’ hours.

However, the council has now been told the scheme has been put on ice, due to ‘procedural issues’.

Mr Hirst had encouraged the scheme at at public meeting back in December.

Canvey Town Council members were arranging a meeting with Les Hawkins, the Specials Supported Policing Co-ordinator, but have now been stopped in their tracks.

The plans to fund additional police was discussed at the latest full council meeting.

Town clerk Elaine De Can said: “Things are going on in the background.

“I am concious that we are being criticised for not doing anything.

“But I am investigating it and things are happening but we have now been told there is a procedural issue with the community special constable scheme at the moment.

“I had tried to set up a meeting to discuss what we can fund and what the procedure is, and they have come back to me and said everything has been put on hold at the moment.”

PCSOs are paid, full-time officers, who work on the frontline of the police force providing a visible and reassuring presence on the streets and tackling the menace of antisocial behaviour.

Special Constables are volunteer police officers with full powers to arrest.

Volunteers will need to pass a specific fitness test, and a written test as part of the recruitment process

They are paid a very small duty allowance and mileage to and from work, and this amount would normally come to less than £1,000 per officer per year

Jane Gardner, the deputy police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, said: “Safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build success and well-being for all.

“It was clear from the engaging debate at our public meeting in December that Canvey Town Council are really keen to support policing in the area.

“We encouraged them to contact Essex Police to look at how they could fund their own PCSO or Special Constable for the island.

This is an idea we have been talking about with other town and parish councils in the county.

“As we understand this scheme is still on going and in the development stages.”