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Page last updated at 07:38 GMT, Friday, 13 April 2012 08:38 UK

Vaz: Don't take risks with policing

The chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee has said that proposals to make community support officers, rather than constables, the first point of contact for the public, "flies in the face" of that the government is trying to do in the landscaping of policing.

Keith Vaz told the Today programme's Evan Davis that the proposals, which are being put forward by South Yorkshire police, that "this is a serious departure from traditional policing".

He went on to say that "you should not take risks with policing" by replacing officers on the beat with Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

"I don't think the public will be fooled," he said, adding that PCSOs are "part of the team, they are not the team".

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