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Why are police community support officers important?

31 January 2013 Last updated at 21:53 GMT

As the government plans to remove funding for police community support officers, Bristol mayor George Ferguson has also suggested the numbers should be cut.

But in neighbouring counties, including Wiltshire, Police and Crime Commissioners say they have no intention of reducing their numbers.

The BBC's Steve Brodie looks at why some chief constables think so highly of PCSOs.