PCSO ROLE              page 2 of 2

What is the work of a PCSO like?     by J CAMPBELL

Police community support officers (PCSOs) are uniformed staff whose role is to support the work of police officers and work within their local community. Their role is to assist the police in areas that need a certain level of police presence, but not necessarily the expertise of a trained police officer. They free up some of the time police officers might spend on routine tasks or low-level crime issues, and provide a valuable service to the community.

PCSOs spend most of their time out on patrol, usually on foot or possibly also on a bicycle. They work in pairs or small teams, and in liaison with their police officer colleagues. In some forces they team up with police officers, managed by a police sergeant. They do not have the same powers of arrest as police officers, although they do have the right to detain suspected offenders for up to thirty minutes until a police officer arrives.

They carry radios so that they can communicate with police control rooms and other colleagues.

PSCOs start on about £15,000 a year.

Hours and environment

PCSOs work 37 hours a week, in a shift system, usually covering the hours between 8am and midnight, including weekends and public holidays. There are opportunities to work part-time and flexible hours.

PCSOs are often based at local police stations in the community safety department, but they spend the majority of their time out on patrol, usually on foot. They may be outside in all weathers. They are often sent out to patrol areas experiencing particular problems, such as estates where there have been a spate of car thefts or burglaries, or communities where there have been complaints about nuisance youths on the streets.

They wear a high-visibility uniform, which is similar to a police uniform, and includes a hat. They may wear a protective vest, but do not carry items such as handcuffs or batons.

Salary and other benefits

These figures are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.

Overtime and shift allowances may be available, although this varies between forces.

Skills and personal qualities


Getting in

PCSOs are currently operating in police forces only in England and Wales, and in the British Transport Police. The role of PCSO is still relatively new and numbers are expected to rise. Entry may be competitive.

Vacancies are usually advertised on individual police force websites, in the local press and in recruitment agencies.

Entry for young people

No specific qualifications are required to become a PCSO, and people with a range of experience are welcome to apply.

Employers may look for applicants with some experience of community service, either paid or voluntary, or for those who have studied a course in public services, such as:

The application process includes medical and security checks.

Entry for adults

There are no age restrictions. This is an ideal job for more mature applicants who have experience in other jobs or are returning to work after raising a family.


The training for PCSOs is organised by individual police forces and is not as intensive as that of police officers or special constables. The length of training varies, but usually ranges between three weeks and three or four months. Classroom training is usually organised in-force or at a police training centre. Training consists of a few weeks' classroom and practical modules such as:

After initial training, they first work on the beat with community police officers, before progressing on to independent patrol work.

Getting on

Because the role of PCSO is relatively new, career progression opportunities are still in development. However, experienced PCSOs can use their skills to tutor new recruits. Some police forces offer progression routes to roles as PCSO supervisor or manager.

The role of PCSO is a good starting point for those who are interested in applying to become a police officer.

             the full article is here

John Child from London graduated from KIAD Rochester in 2001 now working as a graphic designer


POLICE chiefs hope residents will follow their footsteps to make their homes more secure. A new footprint scheme is the latest tactic being used by Northumbria Police to combat sneak thieves.

Over the coming months police community support officers will be testing homes in the worst-hit areas, including West Shields and Hebburn.

They will be on the lookout for people who don't lock their doors and windows. If a home is found to be at risk, its owner will be offered crime prevention advice.

But if no one is at home, officers will leave a calling card in the shape of a foot. The card will contain crime prevention advice to help people keep their homes safe.

The campaign has been launched to prevent thieves taking advantage of the warmer weather as householders leave doors and windows unlocked.

Brazen thieves have been known to simply walk in to people's houses and pick up portable items such as handbags, laptop computers, mobile phones and cash.

Inspector Jerry Goulding of South Shields Police said: " We don't want people to come home to or wake up to a burgled house, so we're leaving a useful leaflet with timely advice about locking their property.

"Often it's only when someone has had items stolen that they really start to think about home security. Just making sure you lock your home can make all the difference. Many of these thefts happen between 10pm and 3am, so it may be that people have gone to bed and simply forgotten to lock up."

The footprint scheme forms part of Chief Constable Mike Craik's pledge of total policing, which is aimed at tackling crime and disorder at all levels.


04 July 2006

select to GO FIRST AID quiz! ready for a fifteen question quiz on FIRST AID?


or would you just stand there like a lemon ? PCSOs are out there in uniform and the public EXPECT some professional response! could YOU measure up? or would you just wait for an ambulance?

click the cross icon to enter the QUIZ NOW!

Police Officers Called In To Reduce School
Carlos Fernando, a Community Support Officer with Hastings Police Violence
     POLICE officers are being employed in schools across Sussex to try and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Hillcrest School will join The Grove, St Leonards, in having a full time police officer on its staff this September.

The move follows a disturbing recent rise in classroom violence. Almost 1,800 attacks on teachers and support staff have been reported in the last two years, the equivalent of nearly five a day.

Carlos Fernando, a Community Support Officer with Hastings Police, hopes to work with staff and parents to help trouble makers before they end up with a criminal record.

His role will involve tackling bullying, truancy, exclusions and reducing anti-social behaviour within the school, and in the wider area.

PC Fernando said: "I will be working with young people in preventing and detecting petty crime. I will also be on hand to talk to any pupils who are causing real trouble in the classroom.

"It's a big challenge, but with the help of staff and parents I hope to help problem kids to get onto the right path."

17 August 2006

Litter bug given court bill of £350

Jul 19, 2006
A litter bug who dropped a cider bottle in a Halesowen street has been landed with a £350 court bill.

Thomas Bywater, aged 22, of Addenbrook Court, Old Hill, was spotted by a police community support officer dropping the litter in Foredraft Street, Halesowen.

Bywater was sent a £50 fixed penalty fine for littering the street following the offence in January, but failed to pay up.

He was found guilty of littering in his absence at Halesowen Magistrates Court. Magistrates ordered him to pay the £50 fine plus £250 costs and £50 compensation.

After the hearing, Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for the environment, said: "We won't tolerate people littering our streets. It is anti-social behaviour which ruins the environment for everyone.

"We take this type of offence very seriously and thanks to our partnership with the police community support officers we are able to bring this sort of prosecution," she added.

'Hiatus' in policing on-street parking
Written by Editorial on 28th September 2006
DRIVERS are being allowed to park illegally in Maidenhead roads unchecked, according to a Royal Borough councillor.

At a town hall meeting on Tuesday deputy mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead Cllr Mike Scott (Lib Dem, Park) said the on-street parking situation in the town is out of hand.

As the borough’s representative for Thames Valley Police he said the situation has got out of control since traffic wardens were replaced by police community support officers (PCSOs) in May this year.

At the full council meeting Cllr Scott responded to a question about the parking issue raised by leader of the opposition Cllr David Burbage (Con, Bray). Cllr Scott said there were currently not enough PCSOs to patrol the streets issuing parking fines as well as supporting police officers on bigger jobs such as car crime and drugs. He said: “There are not a lot of people coming to the job, so we cannot be as robust as we would like in dealing with the problem.” He said axing traffic wardens before enough PCSOs were signed up has led to a ‘hiatus’ in the regulation of on-street parking. He said wardens were given the option to become PCSOs, but the majority declined.

After the meeting he said: “It is regrettable that it’s not enforced as rigorously as it should be, but the police are quite rightly giving their full attention to more serious criminal activities.” At the meeting Cllr Burbage said the deputy mayor fought ‘tooth and nail’ against the introduction of PCSOs.

Cllr Scott admitted to not being a fan of two-tier policing, but said the council and public should support the system. He encouraged residents to get in touch with the police about cases of illegal parking in the town. In the future illegal parking may be decriminalised and be regulated by parking wardens again, but ones employed by the council rather than the police.

Don't miss Thursday's Maidenhead Advertiser for ALL the news that matters to you.

John Child cartoons!

LOG ONTO HIS SITE RIGHT HERE for more cartoons and to contact him

'Say No to Violence'

Protection for NHS staff

A PIONEERING campaign is being launched to help hospital staff get on with caring for patients without fear of abuse or assault. It is the initiative by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, the police and the Safer Leeds Partnership.

Last year, the trust recorded 308 cases of assault against staff. Although most of these were verbal rather than physical in nature, it has been concluded that some hospital patients and visitors feel it is acceptable to behave in a threatening manner towards staff.

The joint Say No to Violence initiative is due to be officially launched at the St James's Hospital Gledhow Wing next Monday.


As part of the campaign, four West Yorkshire Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) have been identified to work specifically in Leeds hospitals, patrolling sites and providing back-up to the trust's own security team.

The assignment will be accompanied by a high profile poster campaign and extra training for staff on how to manage anti-social behaviour.

Trust chairman Martin Buckley said: "It is absolutely essential that healthcare staff are allowed to get on with the business of caring for patients without feeling threatened."

In addition to an increased police presence, the initiative will see 6,000 leaflets distributed to staff with tips on dealing with difficult individuals.

As reported recently in the Yorkshire Evening Post a new Dispersal Order covering the city centre has also been extended to cover the Leeds Infirmary site.

PCSOs will have the use of dedicated on-site police offices so that they can keep in close contact with police control rooms in the event of an incident.

The trust's Head of Security Peter Foy said: "We are delighted to have been chosen by West Yorkshire Police to work with them on this high-profile campaign.

"We have had a close working relationship with the force for many years but the new initiative will take joint working to a new level. Together we are working towards a 'zero tolerance' approach to anti-social behaviour in our hospitals."

The Say No to Violence initiative has the full backing of health unions, the Leeds Safety Partnership and Safer Leeds. 20 July 2006

View the HOME OFFICE guides on becoming a PCSO

click here to get acrobat You need to have adobe reader to be able to view the documents, if you don't have adobe then click the adobe icon to get it free.

The documents tell you what an employer is looking for in a PCSO, what you will be dealing with if you get the job and a check list to see if you have the right qualities to go for the job.

The documents are well worth reading and there are 2 versions of each, The versions are the same. Just choose which source you prefer and right click, then "save target as"

Document A
source 1 kent police 104k
source 2 national-pcsos 104k

Document B
source 1 policecouldyou 1.5 MB
source 2 national-pcsos 1.5 MB

Ban on public drinking in village centre welcomed
ROWDY drinkers in Clowne could find themselves £500 worse off if they're caught boozing in the village centre as of this week.

Recreation Close, Neale Street, North Road and Rectory Road are all part of a new Alcohol Control Zone, meaning anyone drinking outside pub boundaries could be stopped and fined by police.

Bolsover Council decided to make the move after a public consultation found that 97 per cent of local people thought it was a good idea.

"Clowne has had significant problems in the past with rowdy and anti-social behaviour, which can be linked to alcohol," said Coun Brian Murray-Carr, cabinet member for community safety who added that the council was hopeful that locals would abide by the new laws for the good of the community.

"It's not that we want to stop people enjoying themselves, but for them to realise they must act and behave responsibly or face the consequences. We are confident that the adoption of these new powers will help reduce and tackle the problems to make the community a safer, more pleasant area for people to enjoy."

The new scheme means police will now have the powers to confiscate and dispose of bottles of alcohol and fine people up to £500 – failure to comply could lead to arrest.

Clowne Parish Council chairman Karl Reid said he welcomed the new laws and said it will help the parish council in their continuing battle with under age drinkers.

"When the district council contacted us we thought it was a great idea, and we have worked with them to extend it to the area round Rectory Road as that is where the young people hang out," he said. "It will be good for the village as it will help to reduce the fear of crime which is definitely an issue here. As a council we have been proactive in addressing this, so the new Alcohol Control Zone will be a great help."

The parish council has already contributed financially towards two new Police Community Support Officers, who will start work in the next few weeks.

Coun Reid says the scheme is a good example of how partnership working is helping to move the community forward.

"We as a council can't do it on our own, Bolsover can't do it on its own and neither can the police. The only way we can get problems like this sorted is by working together. And everyone is looking forward to seeing how this new initiative befits the village," he said.

15 September 2006

John Child cartoons!

LOG ONTO HIS SITE RIGHT HERE for more cartoons and to contact him

Car parking crackdown welcomed
May 24 2006
By Dean Valler

SHOPKEEPERS have welcomed a police crackdown on thoughtless drivers blocking up streets in Coventry.

The campaign aims to tackle dangerous and thoughtless motorists in the Foleshill area.

The idea is to free up spaces for shoppers and residents and stop cars parking unnecessarily in Foleshill Road and surrounding streets.

It is aimed chiefly at cars for sale left on the road and runs until Saturday.

Sergeant Nigel Green, of the Foleshill neighbourhood policing team, said: "The cars we're targeting are causing an unnecessary obstruction.

"They are using up car parking spaces that would otherwise be used by customers for local businesses or by local residents."

Paul Liversidge, aged 40, owns Four Seasons flower shop, in Foleshill Road, and said he was "delighted" with the impact of the operation.

He is also chairman of the Blue Ribbon residents' association in the area and added: "Everyone walking up and down the street is saying how much they appreciate this.

"You should see it on a Saturday morning - we can have as many as 22 cars left for sale in Foleshill Road and surrounding streets.

"It's gone from one extreme to the other and really did need to stop.

"Thanks to this police operation, I'm pleased to say it now looks as though things will very much improve."

Mohammed Saleen, aged 40, owns Choice Cuts men's hairdressers in Foleshill Road, and said customers had often complained about lack of parking spaces.

He said: "Why should we abide by the rule that we can only park in Foleshill Road for half-an-hour at a time when cars for sale are left here for days on end?"

Father-of-five Sarfraz Khan, 55, who lives in Eld Road, Edgwick, off Foleshill Road, said the clampdown had come "not before time" and said it sent out a strong message.

He added: "Often cars are parked all over the pavement as well, which obstruct elderly or poorly sighted people, so this campaign really helps to address that problem."

A total of six cars left for sale in Foleshill Road were seized in the first day of the operation.

The vehicles were taken to police compounds, the owners were notified and will have to pay to have the cars released.

Owners may also be charged with causing an unnecessary obstruction or be issued with a fine.

The operation has been carried out by West Midlands Police officers, community support officers, Coventry City Council community wardens and parking attendants.

It was initiated after concerns were raised by residents in Foleshill.

OUT ON PATROL FOR SCHOOL TRUANTS TRUANCY patrols have been on the streets of Doncaster again.

HAVING A WORD The initiative involved 14 police officers and police community support officers, accompanied by 14 officers from the Doncaster Council's community and schools social work service, and aimed to promote the importance of regular attendance at school.

In total 89 children were spoken to on Tuesday, 16 of whom were taken back to school. The remaining pupils were either out of school for legitimate reasons, with parents or excluded, Sergeant Steve Butler, head of the safer neighbourhood team for the town centre, explained.

Children aged between five and 16 out in the town centre were approached by officers to find out why they were not in school. Unsupervised pupils were taken back to school and their details recorded so that a letter could be sent home.

Parents accompanying children who should have been at school were issued with a letter and a leaflet telling them about the law relating to truancy, and outlining their responsibility in ensuring that their child regularly attends.

Pc Bryan Evans, who was involved in the operation, explained how engaging the parents could help resolve any issues that might be going on behind the scenes: "It might be that they are genuinely not very well or unable to go to school, but it might be that they are not going to school every Tuesday because of a history lesson or because they are getting bullied. Once we find this out the education service and the school can get involved to try and solve the problem."

There is still the potential for a parent to end up in court charged with not making their children attend school, and this warning was included in the leaflet handed out. However, this would be after a prolonged period of persistent absence.

Sgt Butler said he was pleased with the outcomes of the operation and said: "From a police point of view and an anti-social point of view this kind of patrol is important because children who are truanting may well be involved in criminal activity and anti-social behaviour." Sgt Butler added that most parents were co-operative with the officers, though did admit some were "quite vocal in their opposition".

One parent who was spoken to by officers, who did not wish to be named, said she agreed with the idea: "My son is not in school because he's hurt his leg, but I definitely think it is good idea. There are too many kids hanging out on the street when they should be school and causing trouble."

No-one from the community and schools social work service at Doncaster Council was allowed to talk to the press.

09 March 2006

letters from Oxford Mail

Get our police back on the beat

The scene, Broadway, Didcot, the time, Sunday afternoon.

I noticed that as usual on the Sabbath, there was a marked absence of people and cars when, to my horror, I noticed a heinous villain perpetuating a serious crime.

I thought where is the police helicopter, the riot police or even a bobby on his bike armed with a big stick and trusty whistle?

Was a murder taking place? A paedophile stalking children? An armed robbery in progress?

It was even worse than that

Someone had parked on a double yellow line while nipping into the video shop. To my relief, I saw one of Didcot's pretending police (aka a community support officer) emerge from the shadows and, to my relief, immediately began writing out a ticket.

These people seem to add little value to the community and appear to wander aimlessly about in their fluorescent jackets wasting shoe leather. Perhaps if the powers-that-be dropped all this PC nonsense (no pun intended), freed good police officers from spending all day filling in forms and got them back on the beat where they belong, we would see a drop in crime and less of the mindless yobbery which exists in every town.

I used to have policemen as friends in the old days. But it now seems to be the Government's intention to make a criminal of everyone. It is now a case of them and us, with nearly everyone having no time for the police. Bring back the good old days.

Tony Anchors, Didcot
9:25am Tuesday 9th May 2006

PCSOs play a crucial role

I write in response to Tony Anchors's letter, Get our police back on beat (Oxford Mail, May 9), and to address the concern raised over the use of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Didcot.

Mr Anchors criticises the issuing of a parking ticket to a car parked on double yellow lines in the town.

I would like to assure him that this is just one part of the crucial role that PCSOs play in the policing of our towns.

The South Oxfordshire Community Safety Partnership drew up its priorities following a period of public consultation.

One of these, highlighted by local people, was concern about road safety and it is therefore important to us to enforce parking restrictions. Double yellow lines are there for a reason. Parking at that point of the road causes an obstruction and can cause dangers to pedestrians and other road users.

As to the use of PCSOs throughout the town, I would like to emphasise that they are an important part of the policing team. They have been influential in bringing about an overall reduction in crime and an increase in the number of crimes solved in Didcot over the last year.

I will continue to enforce parking restrictions and continue to use PCSOs to deal effectively with low-level crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour and to ensure that Didcot remains a safe place to live and work, in line with what residents have requested from us.

JILL SIMPSON (Supt) Area Commander, South Oxfordshire Thames Valley Police

10:08am Friday 12th May 2006

PCSO duties

PCSOs are not police officers and do not perform the same duties.

The difference between a PCSO and a police officer
    Police Community Support Officers

  • member of Police civil staff

  • limited powers

  • intelligence gathering

  • foot patrols

  • carries protective vest

  • 3 weeks classroom training followed by local borough training

  • provides a service to victims and witnesses but do not investigate or report crime

  • directed and controlled by police officers

  • supports police officers

  • power of detention in certain circumstances

  • power to search bags and vehicles – not the person

  • no ‘duty’ to intervene – is allowed to withdraw from high-risk situations

  • selected skills and training for specific roles

  • 12 month probationary period

  • local resource
    Police Constable

  • full police powers

  • intelligence gathering and action taken

  • full range of police duties

  • power of arrest

  • foot or vehicle patrols

  • carries protective vest, handcuffs, baton and CS spray

  • 18 weeks classroom training at Hendon

  • initial crime reports and crime investigation

  • manage, supervise and direct PCSOs

  • powers of stop and search of persons and vehicles

  • has a positive ‘duty’ to act

  • 24-month probationary period

  • London-wide resource

     Lincolnshire PCSOs in 2006

The retro-style Chrysler used by Lincolnshire PCSO

PCSOs can cruise the streets of rural Boston (in 2006)

APPENDIX I of the ACPO guide written in 2002 (1MB)

PCSO Rules of Engagement


In preparing to engage in an incident the PCSO can use the “safe working method” approach to risk management, typified by the diagram below:

Police raid nets porn and pirated DVDs
By Matt Wilkinsonanother great story by the Oxford Mail

DVDs including hardcore pornographic films, the latest cinema releases and illegal music CDs have been seized following an investigation into dodgy dealings at a car boot sale in Oxford yesterday.

Police and trading standards officers found 1,621 counterfeit film titles and 300 CDs on sale at the Big Ben's Car Boot Sale at the Kassam Stadium in Blackbird Leys, Oxford, yesterday.

Illegal DVDs stashed in bags in a car boot included the recent cinema releases Superman Returns and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest as well as more than 300 hardcore pornographic movies.

The weekly event, which is not run by Oxford United, takes place opposite The Vue cinema where most of the seized titles have only recently been released on to the big screen.

The raid followed an investigation by Oxfordshire County Council trading standards officers where 'spotters' moved secretly round the car boot sale identifying illegal retailers. In the boot of one car, five bags filled with pirate movies were discovered and a search of a nearby van uncovered illegal music CDs.

The illicit recordings were on sale for £5 each making the haul of seized goods worth more than £9,500. Organisers of the event have called the illegal traders the scourge of car boot sales.

Pc Martyn Wills, of the Blackbird Leys neighbourhood team, said: "These raids ensure the integrity of the car boot sale so it can be enjoyed by the whole community. "Working in partnership with external organisations we are helping to rid the estate of the criminal element which adversely affects community tranquility by keeping these people away from this car boot sale."

Five police officers were joined by six plainclothed trading standards officers and four police community support officers for the raid at 10am.

The pornographic recordings will now be studied for their illegal content before any criminal proceedings are launched. Richard Webb, group manager of trading standards, said: "This illegal trade affects the business of local independent and larger traders. "We know much further up the chain this illegal behaviour is linked to more serious organised crime. The people behind this are largely in organised criminal gangs. Some are involved in drugs and people trafficking."

Trading standards experts believe most of the titles have been shipped to England from Asia. Three men from London have been quizzed by police on the sale of the DVDs and CDs but there were no arrests.

Police have vowed to continue to monitor the car boot sale. The raid was welcomed by Richard Franklin, proprietor of the Big Ben Car Boot Sale. He said: "It is an ongoing problem. We thought we had got rid of this activity it is disastrous for the integrity of car boot sales. "We cooperate with trading standards whereever possible and anyone we catch will be thrown out for good. "But as in this case, if they are not selling them openly on the stall, it is very difficult to deal with. We are pretty strict and we do everything we can to stop this scourge of car boot sales."

9:44am Monday 17th July 2006GO TO PAGE 1 of 2         

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