Police chiefs forced to pay out £1 million to PCSOs in payroll blunder

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Bosses at Lincolnshire Police are having to pay out £1 million in back-pay to current and former PCSOs after a payroll blunder.

Errors relating to a review of PCSO shift patterns and an increase in their powers were not correctly addressed on the payroll leading to many PCSOs being underpaid over a number of years.

Lincolnshire Police say the £1 million pay-out will go to 180 members of staff who are still PCSOs or still work in the force and 70 staff who have since left the organisation.

Each of the 250 staff will receive an average pay-out of £4,000.

Lincolnshire Police’s Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Keith Smy defended the pay-out, saying the force has a legal and moral duty to correct its errors in this instance.

He said: “We can confirm that following a review of PCSO shift patterns and an increase in powers, it was brought to our attention that there had been some long standing errors in relation to how shift calculations were worked out.

“Whilst we have been able to conclude the consultation and move our PCSOs onto one shift pattern, with the central theme of increasing the visibility and effectiveness of our PCSOs, it was only correct, both morally and legally, that any errors were corrected.

“This has affected around 180 staff who are either still employed with us as PCSOs or have since changed jobs but are still employed by Lincolnshire Police and around 70 staff that worked as PCSOs and who may have been affected who have since left the organisation in the last few years.”

Dep Ch Con Smy said Lincolnshire Police has already budgeted for the pay-out so will not need to make cuts this financial year to pay for it.

He said: “The total amount of back pay adjustment and on costs will amount to around £1 million.

“We were made aware of this issue prior to the current financial year and budgeted accordingly, therefore this will not impact on current operational policing or staffing.”