2008 MAIN FAQ

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2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 151428Post falkor
Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:17 am

D I S C L A I M E R
This faq is comprised of 2007 - 2008 questions and answers, cited by guests or members of the site P C S O.com

The questions and answers are reproduced in good faith and with the purpose of assisting UK candidates for position as PCSO.
When you read an "answer" on this page, please remember that it was written by another member of the site, who hopefully knows what they're talking about, but the information may be out of date or even totally wrong.
If you are in doubt, then please find the enquiry number provided to you in your application pack and phone to confirm the exact and current answer to your query.
1 What happened to the FAQ on the main site?All those Q + As were based on threads "answered" by our resident union rep GlynB. They were great but all the threads were linked back to the phpBB2 site which was surpassed in early 2008.click here for further information if required
2 Salary? Benefits? Probation length?Met PCSOs basic salary is £18,873

On top is a location allowance of either £1,623 or 3,000ish

Then there is a shift allowance of 12.5%, 15% or 20% depending on what shifts you do (this depends on your borough).

Probabtion for PCSOs is 1 year.
click here for further information if required
3 what do the public think of us PCSO's ?To be honest I've had nothing but a very positive reaction from the public (right down to them sponsoring me for my patrol bike!!)

Except for a couple of scrotes in my area, however most of them are good and honestly don't know the difference.... and they just call me "the good cop"
click here for further information if required
4 should PCSOs be given additional powers??I think i would help if we had the power to stop & search, and be able to issue a few more FPN's for minor driving offences.
PPE..well i think it's should be top priority for health & safety resons to be issued CS, were dealing with public here, we don't know what's round the corner!!
click here for further information if required
5 How hard is the fitness test really??The fitness test is not a complete nightmare, The instructor that took ours last week said that "if there was an emergency in a supermarket and everyone ran out, 5.4 would be the average that most people would manage". It is that average that the instrutors look for. I am 26 years old, a smoker (most recently on 25 a day have only just cut it down to 10) and cannot be described as slim by any stretch of the imaginition.
I passed the first fitness test and did the training, and had to do it last week before we did had officer safety training.
click here for further information if required
6 ive got an interview after passing my competence test,its on the 8th dec,can anyone tell me what to expect and what to prepare myself for????????? thanksFor the MET it was basically just the ability to observe and write a report in pressured circumstances based on minimal events...watching a short video and then writing up what you saw. Not testing your memory, but your ability to write adequate reports etc.click here for further information if required
7 We have just been informed that as part of our role in the future we have to rummage through bin bags to help id the fly-tipping offender. Believe me I am not happy about doing this either but have been told that we have no choice, we must get on with it. Feeling even more like the general dogsbody of the police force than usual! Normally we do the work of the postpeople, delivering leaflets to street after street because the bobbies cant be bothered doing it. Now it seems we will take on the role of the binmen. Not feeling very loved and appreciated here guys. Looking for alternative employment. Shame really, been doing this job for a few years and used to enjoy it.click here for further information if required
8 Hi im 17 and i was just wondering if there was any courses before you apply that would help you become a PCSO....

Also any advise for interview before they say you can start the training?????

Just want to be prepared...
a college local to me does a 2yr course in 'public services'. Its designed for people looking to join the armed forces, police, fire brigade etc. Its possible you might be able to find something like that where you live too.click here for further information if required
9 Does anyone else feel a little miffed/missled about the shifts they are expected to do now they have started the job? when i applied 2 1/2 yrs ago we did perminent 4-midnights this at the time i thought was great as all the disorder was happening when i was on duty...

we then changed to the NBM shift pattern & i was a bit miffed but i realised most of our shift were yes lates
and i thought what the heck am i ment to do on days but i got used to it and now have plenty of tea spots and still get the youth disorder on my late shifts.
click here for further information if required
10 I have a rough idea of the role of the pcso but could anyone enlighten me any further on what to expect on a typical day?typical day for me would be something like:

Get in the office and check email/log entries for jobs which have been passed on to me, or to view overnight events that might be relevant. Make sure my pocket notebook (PNB) is up to date, complete any outstanding paperwork if possible.

Make for my beat area ... by walking, getting the bus or getting a lift. Do any jobs that need doing (see above,) visit community centres, local shops and the like - "walking and talking." (and accepting all cuppas when offered, too.)

Either go back to the office for bait or eat "out" in a community centre or similar.

More foot patrol, before going in for the end of shift.
click here for further information if required
11 Im a PCSO in london my take home pay after pension and all stopages etc is bang on £1600 pcmjoined Kent Police as a PCSO in March '07, and the starting salary was approx. £19.5k. The joining letter I recieved stated that the salary can rise to £23k but doesn't indicate when any such rise may come into force! Whilst on the PCSO training course I asked several tutors including Inspectors regarding when salaries go up. Sadly not one person could give me an answer!! If you join as a Police Constable there is a very clear pay structure with exact time frames when you can expect your salary to go up. On a happy note, work colleagues have told me that I should get a rise after 6mths, which I now believe may apply to all forces. My only concern is that as a PC your salary can continue to rise each year but as a PCSO in Kent the salary will never go beyond £23k regardless of your length of service.click here for further information if required
12 Does anyone else out there who has a two tiered team of Police Officers and then much further down the pecking order - PCSO. Or a sergeant who refers to his PCSOs as useless, making suggestions that the P in PCSO stands for Pointless?This is unacceptable behaviour, which shows a worrying lack of professionalism & knowledge. Is this a newly made up sgt or some old sweat?

We have a TOWBAR sgt who is a Grade A knob....I have also worked with old sweat sgts who's attitudes make me red with embarrasment.

The advice from Falkor is spot on. This is nothing short of workplace bullying NOT "just a joke". A joke is only funny if EVERYONE is laughing - the minute just one person stops laughing...it is no longer a joke.
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13 How about unmarked PCSOs? No uniform, but a vest and radio etc with the same powers?

Would they be effective?
PCSO`s were created to be a hi visibility presence- what the hell is the point of having someone whose role 100% consists of being seen in plain clothes?

Considering that until PCSO powers are standardised properly they are all still a mish mash then no- a PCSO out of uniform is not going to be effective at his/her main role- which is COMMUNITY REASSURANCE. The community wont be very re-assured if they cant actually see you.
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14 Unfortunately the role of a PCSO wasn't for me, after 6 months doing the job I knew it wasn't the career for me. I found the job and shifts very demanding and aswell as this I took some abuse because of my young age off my colleagues and the public. The morale went down as soon as I started getting the piss ripped by my colleagues!Sorry to hear that Chippy - at least you gave it a go. It can sometimes be much more difficult to admit something is not what you expected or wanted. So hat off to you for having the courage to do so. Best of luck to you in whatever you do.click here for further information if required
15 I have just got turnt down for being too thin, after passing everything. They were really harsh, I had 2 medicals and I had put on weight the second time. I think its pretty easy to fall short on the weight. I am a healthy size 10 and I am not very tall. I still only managed 21 on BMI.
I agree that you ought to get some diet advice from your local surgery. You may not be eating enough protein and it sounds like you have a mega high metabolism.
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16 Why does it take so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! applying to cleveland btw.
Any help or advice or if anyone in same position please reply.
It's the same in North Yorkshire mate...a few of us on this site have been put on hold (read the recruitment thread on this section) the thing to do is just hang on and stay positive as resilience is one of the core compenticies...lolclick here for further information if required
17 i was just wondering what ideas people have weather they have been used or not in helping the community. weather it be a new pcso on a new patch getting his/her face known. or just keeping relationships strong with the public, some ideas on things that are good for adults as well as youths and some for just youths.Played footy on duty with local kids, entering a 5 a-side tournament police team and that has the kids interested who are also entering numerous teams.

Setting up a forum for some new flats that have just been built/open to residents.

After several complaints and making several reports, some mis-used and desecrated lock-ups have been boarded up.

Increasing relationships with PPO's has helped us keep track of them a little more.

More regular patrols where kids hang out etc has enabled us to gather more information as we form a firm but friendly relationship with them.

Generally more patrols in and out of blocks and where known street robbers hang about has seen the residential burlglary rate on our patch drop through the floor.
click here for further information if required
18 I went for my interview yesterday for West Mercia and I feel like I havnt done very well.

My brain had good answers, but my mouth didnt say them haha.

Did anyone else feel like this after their interview.
Yep I did I thought i'd totally blown it but I passed...lol I don't think anyone on my assessment day thought they had done well but all the people on here passed so don't worry!! when did they say you'd find out? I think we all found out 10 days after...click here for further information if required
19 MPS PCSOs and Traffic Wardens retain access to free travel on/off duty, under following conditions:- 1) they must show MPS identity pass with words "COMMUNITY SUPPORT OFFICER" or "TRAFFIC WARDEN" embossed on the front with their photo clearly displayed;

2) it applies to BUSES ONLY - not any train, tube or tram service unless specifically agreed locally on Borough Commander's direction;

3) any PCSO, TW or police staff member attempting to use free travel on a BUS in London WITHOUT (1) will not be permitted to travel and may be considered as committing a serious discipline offence;

4) the free travel option is a privilege granted on the assumption that if something happens, the PCSO/TW will act as a professional witness and take any other appropriate action.
click here for further information if required
20 I CURRENTLY WORK IN LINCOLNSHIRE , EAST DIVISION.
OUR SHIFTS ARE TERRIBLE, THEY ARE 7 ON 2 OFF 3 ON 2 OFF AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.
BY THE TIME YOUVE DONE THE 7 YOU ARE SHATTERED AND REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO 2 OFF, BUT THEY DONT SEEM ENOUGH TO RECOUPERATE PROPERLY READY FOR THE NEXT 3,
(NO GOOD AT ALL FOR FAMILY LIFE).
I too am a Lincs officer, and we are setting up our own pattern to run "In House" This is with the blessing of our Boss. Once it up and running I'll let you know how its going...

The old pattern is awful....

If you PM me I give you my PTP so we can have a chat about it.
click here for further information if required
21 was just wondering... do you know what is going on with the fact that all pcso applicants have received letters from recruitment telling them that their application is on hold??

Only reason i ask, i received a letter about six to eight weeks ago, saying that my application was on hold, etc., which was really disappointing.
i've had the same letter - which i only got on 19th April!! better late than never as i knew situation for at least 6 weeks prior!!!! i've passed all the stages and had the medical - which i had on 1st March. i heard the rumours about the lack of funding so i rang recruitment and spoke to them. basically your medical is valid for up to 3 months after taking, and your interview is valid for UP TO 12 months. Sounds like you've dropped lucky if they're now inviting you for a medical?click here for further information if required
22 I have just been chatting with a few Constables lately, and they seem to think there is no point in having CSO's. (They welcomed me very nicely tho and have always been very supportive)

Do you think a few years after out introduction we are achieving what the Government wanted to achieve in the first place?
We do the job we were intended to do, and have expanded the role by taking on numerous other tasks. More importantly, we have the respect of the law abiding public. Well done to everyoneclick here for further information if required
23 I am hoping to become a PCSO and i'm currently at the filling out the application stage..... I know that in the next stage there is a examination which includes basic english and maths. I have a C in english, however a G in maths!!-and im obviously concerned this may prevent me being considered?!?!. ?depends where you go,

My Numeracy test was easy, in fact it was an embarressment. IE a car park has 30 spaces, 30 cars use it in a month, how many cars use it in a year. Hellooo.


Where would Jack stand Over their or over hear, HELLOOOO

Get the drift mate
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24 I received a letter to say my application was successful and that I would here from the MET regarding my next stage but it's been well over a month now. Should I call them or am I being too impatient??Hiya mate, welcome to the site!

Congrats on passing th paper shift! You should hear from recruitment any time now but there's no harm in giving them a call!
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25 How many of you use your any person powers instead of powers of detention? This ofcourse depends on the situation.
I work within gmp we do not have the power of detention if we see a known wanted person or someone who has just comited an offence we are told to radio and let a cop come and deal and not aproach we cannot issue fixed penalty are not allowed to patrol alone after 8pm your force maybe different but thats because your role as a cso is differant. i for one think national powers would not make a difference because you who have the powers will lose them and we who dont wony get anything anyway. we even work different shifts to the copsclick here for further information if required
26 Hi all iam hoping to be a PCSO and i have my Forms all filled in but iam stuck on the Competency Assessment section of the Paper :S can you help ?You need to look at the Job spec and give examples of when you've demonstrated some of those behaviours/tasks....i.e. when you've dealt with a difficult member of the public.

Hope this helps..and good luck.
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27 have just heard there are tutor pcsos in the west mids i just wanted to know are there any other roles in your areas that you have or of any roles that are going to be intoduced in the near futureIn North Yorkshire, we tutor for 2 weeks and get 100 pound for each 1 we tutor. and as we are getting more and more in it can be quite rewarding


Joe
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28 Ive just found out that my recent assessment day for a PCSO with Dorset Police has been successful.

However, I am slightly worried as my financial situation has not been great in the past and I have a poor credit record. My current situation has improved as I have consolidated all of my debts into one and pay this comfortably on my wages.

Just wondered if anyone knew if I'm likely to be credit reference checked as part of the vetting?
vettings a nightmare take my word for it. Vetting is standard for everyone. However you will get checked including your financial status. if you go to the home office website they explain in detail. Your finances should be sensible and debt should be in proportion to acceptable levels and managed correctly. seems to me you have your act sorted out by consolidating into one sensible loan.thats a good sign! what you can do is go to garlik on the worldwideweb address as the webmaster blocks these key words. you can get a free insite to your file. it only takes 24hrs and they send you password in the post..and its free!click here for further information if required
29 I've been lucky to be invited to interview for next week.
Let me tell you that i'm still worried about certain questions remained without appropriate answers. Which is why i plead with you to help me if you know one of these please:

1. How would you deal with a group of binge drinkers dancing in the street?

2. What would do to win the trust of housing estate residents scrared to give evidence about a violent assault?


3.How would you handle kids using a shopping centre as an indoor cycle speedway?

4. What would you do to rebuild the confidence of an elderly couple who were burgled last week?

5. What doyou think the role of pcso entails?

6. What would you do, if you see a colleague being bullied or harassed?

7. How do you keep yourself motivated?
Hi, I dont mean to be rude, but these are answers that are asked because they are looking for a centain type of person, someone who can deal with situations by using great communication skills.

The questions say what would YOU do, it will be you who is on the streets and therefor you who needs to be able to deal with these situations.

They do not expect a text book answer, as you have had no training but they need people who have the skills to build on.

Just imagine yourself in these situations, and say what you would do! thats all you can do, how would you deal with this if you came across it.

you have passed your initial application which means your answers for that were up to a certain standard

Best of luck at interview
click here for further information if required
30 I have been offered the post of a PCSO in Newham, London and when I asked Personnel whether the pay goes up every year they said informed me it didn't. They said there is no annual cost of living rise or appraisals. I find this hard to believe. Do they really expect PCSO's to stay on the same salary in a year's time as what they started on? If you know different please enlighten me. Thanks guys.We get the inflation rise each year, i think thats about 3% But out salary once it gets to its top grade, after about year and a half thats the highest it goes to.click here for further information if required
31 I thought national-PCSOs had closed down!?national-PCSOs changed hands in February 2008. Following this more than 50 pages were deleted. However - some of the best pages were "saved" in a simple text form.click here for further information if required
32 was just wondering how long people had to wait to hear what their start date was?

I've been waiting since December last year, is this normal or a bit too long? I'm going to give them a call today to find out what the status is. I don't think they have requested a reference from my employer yet

Maybe I am just being too impatient, as I really can't wait to get stuck in.
it can take a while, it took about 2 months for me to hear officially thats with west mids, i rang them up and they told me, that all they had to do was get references, and bar anything wrong with them, they gave me my start date over the phone, obviously i still had to wait until it was in writing before leaving my old job, but it was good to know, so give them a ringclick here for further information if required
33 I've passed all the assessment centre just waiting for my employers reference and my medical. I'm worried that my employer will be annoyed with me when i tell them i'm going to leave and in return i'll get a bad reference. I work for a Care company and they are the most un-organised company that i have worked for, they treat the staff with no respect and that is one of the reasons that i am leaving. What shall i do?Type up your resignation latter and just be honest with them.

It can't hurt to include a passage along the lines of:

'I have enjoyed my time with the company but I now have the chance to realise a life long ambition of becoming part of the Police Force. I wish both yourself and the company the best fo the future'
click here for further information if required
34 Hi everyone, i have recently received a letter telling me i have passed the interview and written test for hampshire but i failed the physical (dyno machine) they are giving me another go so can anyone give me some ideas about exercise that will help. I was kinda fit before i had my baby girl who is only 17 weeks but my fitness level seems to have dropped and i don't really have much time to work out!I think you get 3 attempts, you could give them a call to confirm. I did bench presses to prepare for mine.
If you can get to a gym and tell them what you are doing they should give you the correct exercises to help you. Push ups are quite good to.
What area you hoping to work?
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35 Hi all, just wondered if anyone knows the rules on tattoos as a pcso or pc?

Would it be acceptable to have part tattoo showing on your arm?

as long as its not below the elbow ( force discretion otherwise ) or on your neck or face... and non offensive. I have 12-14 hours worth of tattoos , visible on my upper arms and back... no comments have ever been made....but it does make a good ice breaker with groups of youths ect..click here for further information if required
36 The doubt that is creeping into my mind is that since dropping out of my A levels at 17 years of age I was only gainfully employed from 1994 to 1995, apart from my current post which I started In 1998. I really found it very diffucult to find employment.Don't forget you have experience gained from voluntary work, & life in general. The PCSO application is unlike most in that there is no concern with formal qualifications, also the criteria for making a good community officer are what counts, not your employment history.

The process is rigorous, all relevant.

Good luck. I had an 8 year gap by the way!!
click here for further information if required
37 I have just applied to be a PCSO, and i have suicesfully completed the application form. this means (as am sure you all know) that i am now going to be asked to attend a Interview, role play nad a writen task. Could anybody give me a little insight into this?I successfully got through the aplication process for Cumbria early in the year and was invited to do the role plays. There were 4 situations and you were given either 1 1/2 mins of five mins (depending on how much info you had to read) to read about the situation you were entering. You then had 5 mins once entering the room to act out the role play. You go into a room where there will be an actor and an assessor and the actor will start talking to you straight away ( that knocked me cos i was expecting to have to start the conversation off!). The assessor is sat behind you, so you don't really notice that they are there, but it is still a bit off putting.click here for further information if required
38 government have anounced after 2008 there will not be anymore funding for pcso's, if we want to keep them it will have to come out of tax payers money !!!! IS THIS THE END ?I don't think it's the end at all. I think what will happen will be the reduction of the 24000 target number (which we've seen) and instead a lower number of PCSOs. A lot of the money mentioned is related to recruitment and training too, so they'll still be PCSOs about, just not as many coming through to swell the ranks.click here for further information if required
39 Its great to be a P.C.S.O. but our limited powers dont help. Everyone is now becoming aware that there are lots of things we cant do. None more so than the kids out on the streets. I get more grief from them than the hard core trouble makers. you DO have arrest powers shaun....remember...they are any person powers and whatever the CC says-can't stop you using themclick here for further information if required
40 Todays letter was asking for more info about what medical history i'd given and most specific about an episode of anxiety that i had 20 months ago! I had split up with my boyfriend of ten years,but was still living in the same house, but he became quite agressive and nasty towards me, resulting in me having a couple of anxiety attacks. I went to my doctor, who prescribed beta blockers to help. Instead of taking them tho, i just moved out of the house and took myself out of the situation (i didn't really wanna take any pills!). So, now becouse i have been prescribed medication for anxiety/depression within the last 2 years I'm now not eligible for the job!?hi bear 1.

sorry 2 hear whats happend.. can you not tell the same story in writing and send it to recruitment and your doctor..im sure something as awful as domestic violance should not discriminate you from making a new life for yourself, weather or not you took medication...god it was 20months ago..

True! your doc dose not know weather you took them or not but im sure if you had, you may have been back for more!!! keep at them, and im sure you'll get in..

best of luck.

sponge
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41 is there a "how to become a PCSO" CD?

[img]http://www.policecommunitysupportoffice ... ityh2b.jpg[/img]
Yes there is and a TEACHER CD [img]http://www.policecommunitysupportoffice ... herh2b.jpg[/img] [img]http://www.policecommunitysupportoffice ... cerh2b.jpg[/img]
and a Prison Officer CD
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42 Hi there,

I'm lucky enough to have my interview and assesment in Lewes, West Sussex on Thursday afternoon.

Can anyone give me any tips on right things to say etc? I really want to be successful with this.

Thank you.
Hi Everyone,
In my current job i am a training instructor and the main things i was taught when teaching people is to maintain eye contact this helps both you and the person you are talking to maintain a good level of understanding (you can tell if peole are struggling to understand as their eyes start to go to the top of the head - this means they are searching the back of the mind to find a answer ) useless info i know but thats how people's minds work!.
Be polite on entering building as you dont know who the interviewer's are until you are introduced

during interview if possible try to sit at an angle to them -so as not to appear full on - move the chair slightly to a angle if possible
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43 I wish to join as a regular officer within GMP but at the moment they have a recruitment freeze in place due to all the applications in the system I know i will be taking quiet a sizable pay cut by going into the police but would be willing to do this to get the job i have always wanted to do. My thoughts are i would join as a PCSO whilst waiting for the ''doors'' to open again at GMP. But just what is the net monthly pay (incl of shift allowance) ?Depends on force.... starting at £17000ish plus 27% shift allowance...click here for further information if required
44 Can I ask everyone how long their vetting (after the interview) took? Days, weeks, months?

It would be a great help, thanks.
Mine took 5 weeks, but I have an aussie PC who I work with which took 2 years for his whole applicationclick here for further information if required
45 I'm a martial arts instructor(study WingTsun) so am pretty nifty with self defence non violent restraint etc... Hope to maybe set up a school at the constabulary so after training, my fellow PCSOs can learn more to feel confident on the streets and how to deal with confrontation when it becomes violent!!
no mean to rain on your parade, but police forces (mine especially) dont allow any techniques that officers have not been trained in, athough i deffinately feel CSOs need more self defence training.

one lad was told in my PC self defence to 'forget' his training in 'wadaru' (sorry for spelling) when he was on duty due to health and safety risks and other aspects such as reasonalble force. trained tactics are recognised as reasonable force when it is needed, you might find yourself trying to explain yourself if anything ever happened!
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46 this may sound like a very stupid question but please bear with me!!

if a pcso can hand out on the spot fines for things like littering and dog fouling how do they go about enforcing them?
i assume you would need the name and address of the offender but what if they refuse to give their details to you? how can you force them to comply?
We issue many FPN's in our town, from section 5 public order right through to dog fouling and litter. There are many other offences on the tickets we can fine for, but I'm yet to use any of these.

Luckily nearly all the people except for one have given me details, proved who they are and gone merrily on their way. The one person who wasn't compliant, went to walk off so I called up a unit. He kicked off with them so ended up getting nicked anyway!

Don't be afraid to ask for back up/help if you need it. You'll find most Police Officers these days are more than happy to help out PCSO's.
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47 Can anyone suggest the best footwear that people are wearing at the minute?

I've just got my contract through and start wioth Gwent on the 30th of June, (anyone else?), and would like some guidance on the best boots/shoes that will stand up to the welsh hillsides... any suggestions, (sensible ones obviously), would be gratefully received.

Also... what in the world is a "Push-Pull" and how does it work... yes, I am as green as I look!!
Here in sunny Northampton we're issued with Hi-tec Magnum boots. They're not overly expensive and they're lightweight, durable and have a contoured insole. The material of the soles is a bit soft, so they wear down quite quickly, but Timpsons can replace them with Vibram soles for about £40. You can pay up to £200 for a pair of Goretex & Thinsulate boots if you're rich, but they tend to be quite heavy.

I'm an ex-serviceman and I'm still using the Hi-tec Magnums I bought in 1989! I've lost count of the nubmer of times I've had the soles replaced, but the uppers are as soft as a baby's bum!
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48 Does anyone know if you can apply to be a Special Constable and a Pcso with the same force at the same time? Not in WMC, It is a strict no no and is written into force policy. A special has a duty of care and a warrant card and also holds the office of constable even when off duty, as such you could not conduct your duties as a CSO when holding this office. It would be a conflict of interest.click here for further information if required
49 Hi guys.

I wounder if anyone call tell me whether you are paid whilst undergoing your pcso training? Thanks
Just take into account you may not receive a full months pay if you start during a month instead of a months end,this is the case with Lancs - this may differ with different forces? Maybe someone could shed a little light on the pay scenario in their force - they may tag it onto the following month, so just try to make sure you have enough fund in the bank to cover a full months bills etc

Andy
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50 What happened to the FAQ on the main site?All those Q + As were based on threads "answered" by our resident union rep GlynB. They were great but all the threads were linked back to the phpBB2 site which was surpassed in early 2008.click here for further information if required
D I S C L A I M E R
This faq is comprised of 2007 - 2008 questions and answers, cited by guests or members of the site P C S O.com

The questions and answers are reproduced in good faith and with the purpose of assisting UK candidates for position as PCSO.
When you read an "answer" on this page, please remember that it was written by another member of the site, who hopefully knows what they're talking about, but the information may be out of date or even totally wrong.
If you are in doubt, then please find the enquiry number provided to you in your application pack and phone to confirm the exact and current answer to your query.

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ladyk100
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Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 151572Post ladyk100
Wed Jun 25, 2008 5:06 pm

My name is Kara, im a part time PCSO working for the metropolitain police. I am new to the role but this means the selection process is fresh in my mind. I also joined as a PCSO after being a full time mother for 6 years.I remember having loads of question and many worries about applying, If anyone has any questions about the selection process please PM me. I will reply to all messages :slsm:

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falkor
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Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 152063Post falkor
Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:53 am

nice going Kara, all candidates please do PM Kara with your queries or just simply reply on this thread :slhi:
51 Have any of you PCSO's reported for Summons?? When I was a Traffic Warden I was trained to report on summons in circumstances where it was not possible to issue a fixed penalty. For example when a driver had committed an endorsable offence in respect of a stationary vehicle at a pedestrian crossing and already had 9 points on the licence.

Logic thus implies that where an offence for which a PCSO has the authority to issue affixed penalty Notice is alleged a ROS would be possible. If for example a person declined to enter into the Fixed Penalty System. As we are aware the FPN or FND are alternatives to prosecution in courts and require the offender to agree to use the system. In practice we would normally issue the ticket and let them contest it but if they refuse to cooperate one needs an alternative method of dealing.
click here for further information if required
52 I've been offered SPCSO role, should I take it?Personal opinion is no, don't do it.

Yes you get higher pay, but only because your shift allowance is higher and you have to work anything over a 24 hour period.

All the rubbish comes to you - the complaints, the man who wants to know why you haven't caught the people who stole his car...... The list is endless.

It may be very slightly easier to go from SPCSO to PC, but its a 2 year posting and you can't apply for PC until the 2 years are up. Its only a year for a PCSO.

The choice, is yours!
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53 If anyone on here is good regarding injury at work can you please send me a message.. dont want to discuss in public in case I have to take matter further.
If you can post a very vague topic in terms of what you want discussed, people here might be able to point you in the direction of union reps/OH or someone who could assist.click here for further information if required
54 just a quick question, how does everyone carry thier FPN and PND books ?

any one got any good solutions ?

the obvious soultion is a belt with pouches or inside your body armour
i keep my FPN in my pouch. Don't carry any PNDs but from what i seen of officers they carry them in their trouser side pocketsclick here for further information if required
55 When I spoke to my PCSO Recruitment contact at Hendon they said I would have to complete a Basic Officer's exam during my training? (or words to that affect).

What does this entail, and how easy/ hard is it? Im never good with test's and I have not been told much about it.
On the PCSO course you do 4 multiple choice exams (the first is a mock) and you must get 65%+ to pass. Each exam can test you on anything you have learnt up to that point. The last exam takes place on the penultimate day, so tests you on everything.

TPCSOs I expect will have to do an extra bit to test then on the traffic element of their powers - but I'm not sure on this bit.
click here for further information if required
56 how long is the training?Over here it took about a year for the application process!!, the training was 8 weeks, and then tutored for an addtional 15 weeks or so, un till we were able to safely go solo patrol.

Jules
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57 What are PCSOs and why are we here??Jimmy, I was part of a busy city centre PCSO team. I have a total of 12 years police experience as a SC then PCSO and now a PC and I am certianly not a newbie. I was one of the first PCSOs in our area back in 2004 and we were very proactive. We were not wannabe PCs we just did our job and did not ever stand for taking any abuse. When I started PCSOs could arrest for drunk and disorderly and we did all of the time. If a person was drunk and giving us abuse then we would not stand for it. ......click here for further information if required
58 SECURITY CHECKS? I have passed everything and am now just waiting on my security checks to come through. They started at the end of October and the force still havnt heard back about them. Is this an unusually long time, or did it take this long for your security check?Stay cool, sometimes they can take quite a few months. Good luck to you.click here for further information if required
59 Unison is calling for a standardised identifiable uniforn for PCSOs across Enland and Wales, inluding the force crest on the cap, a blue and white chequered cap band, blue tie / epaulettesI have spoke to a unison rep recently and they said that we in Lancs are to get the word Police back onto the uniform,as the guy at the clothing stores has been having a whinge to the rep about all the work that they are going to have to do as a resultclick here for further information if required
60 the introduction of "Volunteer" P.C.S.O.s?A very good idea if the right people are motivated and recruited. There are plenty of good people in my Borough, who would like to volunteer for something but without becoming a police officer as a Special. As a volunteer PCSO, the door is opened far wider, and I think offers a lot of potential to expand the capability of our PCSO teams.click here for further information if required
61 should PCSOs carry some form of protective equipment?Yes I think that we should carry some sort of protective equipment! At least as a visual deterant so that when people see our belts they aren't just afraid of the sixe of our tourches!
Just to know that we had a baton and/or CS spray would increase confindence.
click here for further information if required
62 applied last week to Thames Valley, and have had a call back asking me to go in for an interview,
they have sent me a health questionaire etc which i have to take with me, plus vetting forms to send back asap which includes info about your family / references etc.

they also said that my medical will be staright after my interview,

is this normal??

after looking at other peoples questions, it seems that the usual process is quite long, and vetting forms aren't done until you've had medical or at least interview??

am i getting all excited for nothing?? are there more vetting forms to come??
If they have vacancies for the next few intakes they may start doing the vetting etc early to try to get things working in background whilst they do the interviews etc ,so you may be lucky and get a position offered in a short period of time compared to others who have had to wait for a much longer time

Good Luck with everything

Andy
click here for further information if required
63 just been told by WYP that due to my attendance criteria they arent processing my application further even though on wednesday last week they said i was just waititng for a start date as all the checks were fine.....what!!!!??well hopefully they will see error of their ways! its better if you have had 19days off in one go than 19 seperate occassions. have to wait and see man! good luckclick here for further information if required
64 Hey all, Ive got a BTP PCSO Fitness test on Friday and it's somewhat short notice in the sense Ive not had much time to get fit and practice. Had testing day 7th of Jan. I really need advice on how hard the 35KG Push/Pull test really is, I mean Im 13.5 Stone and can do push ups no problem, anybody reckon I'll struggle?I had my pcso fitness test back in november and unless they have changed it between now and back then u have nothing to worry about.
All i had to do was
A sight test
a hearing test
height and weight
give a sample
and a lung capacity test, no pushing pulling etc so dont stress too much
click here for further information if required
65 recently witnessed a colleague locking the station door to detain 3 youths aged 13-14 years old. They were suspected of causing criminal damage to a local school. My colleague proceeded to question the youths without a responsible adult present and without cautioning them.

Additionally, I witnessed my colleague point their finger into the chest of a known nominal whilst facing him up, as he believed that he was threatening him.
you are a member of the policing family now and therfore it is your duty to challenge unethical practice. That is not just restricted to you on the streets dealing with the public, but with your colleagues too. If a complaint was made and that colleague was investigated you may have to stand before your professional standards and explain why you did nothing.click here for further information if required
66 I'm a little concerned that I would fail the vetting for PCSO as my younger Brother who is nealy 14 (who I don't keep in contact with) has been in lots of trouble with the police for theft and breaking into places and I'm not totally sure but my Sister tells me that He has been charged with burglary and has been to court and also is tagged. I suggest that you tell your HR all the details that you can. They will conduct checks with any constabularies that any members of your immediate family live in, so they will find out. It is better coming from you as it shows that you are being up front and honest with them. Hope it all works out well for you.click here for further information if required
67 Does anyone have any advice regarding the written assessment? some advice that ur prob not going to be glad to hear... are you applying for pcso or pc though as thats not clear?

i did the written tests for pc for surrey police, and the written for pcso for the met. the pcso tests are nothing compared with pc tests! im now in the met as a pc, but only missed out on joining surrey as a pc by 1%. fate i guess.... loving my pcso training though even though the exams are pretty hard... get back to me on whether ur applying for pc or pcso and ill try my best to advise.
click here for further information if required
68 Respect for Race & Diversity - Community & Customer?You will be tested on respect for race and diversity in everything you do including role plays and interview....it is not just about black/asian etc etc...it can be about homosexuality,gender,age etc-just about anything you can think of where a prejudice can exist but you showed respect. It is also about using the right language and showing an understanding of other people in many ways.click here for further information if required
69 PCSO's also have traffic warden powers, after a quick search on google i cant find a list of traffic warden powers - does anyone have a list ? Additional to the list, which I posted some considerable time, ago linked in falkor’s answer above there is the authority to direct traffic, including pedestrians.

The authority to control the flow of traffic at planned or unplanned incidents is of considerable value but was not originally one of the powers granted to PCSOs who were not also Traffic Wardens. It is only whilst regulating the flow of traffic that a Traffic Warden has the authority to stop a vehicle.

Traffic Wardens can also run car pounds and in such circumstances may accept the production of documents.
click here for further information if required
70 how do pcsos give out cautions? what do they say to people? ?When i detain or arrest people i autmatically go straight into the caution.
It gives the impression that you know what you're on about ( i do ); and it's then there straight from the start.

If it warrants a PC then i'll call one, if not i'll deal with it.
click here for further information if required
71 Just got a letter today syaing the due to a technical anomaly and because we have been given the powers of a traffic warden we are having our contracts changed to designate us as Traffic Wardens with PCSO powers and not PCSO's with Traffic Warden powers. West Mids have sent out the same sort of letters and I agree it appears a bit odd, we use our Traffic powers not very often and most of our town/cities in the West Mids have had or about to have parking restrictions de-crimilised. Not like London who have designated TPCSO that appear to just deal with traffic....click here for further information if required
72 We've been told to learn the caution but it's not been explained to us yet. I think I understand it (if you don't say something then use it as evidence in court then you might harm your case as you should have told them when you first got arrested - if it's something that helps you) but I am confused about it.You will need to say it if you issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (Fine for cycling on footpath, littering etc)click here for further information if required
73 Does anyone know what the deal is with travel and travel expenses.
I understand that when in uniform you can jump on and off busses but I’m not sure how this all works, I m starting my training on the 21st of this month and I need to know wither or not I should buy a travel pass to get to and from the training centre…
If you are a PCSO within the Met police your ID card can be used as a bus pass for free travel, with the understanding that you act as a professional witness should anything occur on your journey.
There are no other concessions except if you are a BTP pcso I believe.

I dont know about other forces...
click here for further information if required
74 HAS ANYONE HAD NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES WITH THEIR TUTOR??This tutors job is to train you and encourage you, not belittle you and make you feel inferior ........THAT IS BULLYING!click here for further information if required
75 push and pull test?At Hendon, the machine they use (a Dyno) has both back and forward supports. There are 2 seats, one at each end of the machine, use one for pushing then swap over seats for the pulling.click here for further information if required
76 Any PCSO Mums out there have young babies ??am a pcso with GMP, i start my training on 17th sept.

when i applied, i had to consider a similar situation. my previous position was a 9-5 office job.

my two and half year old was a major concern of mine, i didn't want his quality of life, or time with me to be affected, which i had to think long and hard about (as us parents do for everything involving our kids).

i decided to sit down with all of my family (my fiance, my parents, her parents, grandparents, and auntie/uncles).

I told them all what i wanted to do, and subject to me getting a copy of the shift patterns for my division, once appointed, would they all be able to support me with what i wanted to do??
click here for further information if required
77 Can anyone tell me what footwear you are expected to wear while we are training?we had been told that we wouldn't get uniform till the second week of training, so when it turned up on the first day, and we got told to change, a lot of people were wearrnig very odd shoes we were let off for the week not wearing proper shoes or boots and i did manage myself to go out that weekend and get some good shoesclick here for further information if required
78 I have been worried, as a 21 year old, that i will not be taken seriously as a pcso, by the public mainly, and i would love to have some sort of idea of other pcsos age?
Right now, despite having the longest service at the nick, I am the youngest pcso there and I do get treated as the baby of the team, they all take turns to 'look after me' and can sometimes be patronising, while at the same time looking to me as the longest serving, asking me for advice on incidents and how to work things in the officeclick here for further information if required
79 I was told that we have powers to stop and FPN cyclist on the footpath but not cycling the wrong way down the one way road (another big issue on my patch), but I was also told we have no powers to stop cycles on the road who we had witness commit the offence of cycling on the footpath. As far as I was recently trained (with the new "power" set)- we can now actually stop people for the offence of cycling on the pavement and that includes if we see them in the road after they leave the pavement after seeing us watching them on the pavement.....but then they have done what we would have wanted then which seems pointless stopping them....also....until i did the course i could issue the tickets but technically had no designated power to stop the rider/bikeclick here for further information if required
80 Is there a website which lists the powers for PCSOs in each region/area? Find you Force on the table at the top:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/news-an ... iew=Binary
click here for further information if required
81 I heard there is a 2007 PCSO GUIDE for MET PCSOs?Yes there is click here to read itclick here for further information if required
82 Can you give a Section 59 Warning for illegal number plates?are you sure they were warned for the plates and didnt just had a warning for another reason as you cant warn someone under that for numberplatesclick here for further information if required
83 what do you do regarding kids on scrambler bikes causing ASB?Get the chopper up and get traffic involved they are putting your life at risk!click here for further information if required
84 Warrants, what is your role?in my force (as far as im aware) PCSO's cant be on the warrants so thus cant search

but if we get involved we do the crowd control outside and also do the community intel/reasurance side by knocking on doors in the street and letting people know whats going on otherwise they end up inventing stories

when i took part in a raid i was approached in the village to ask if the rumour they heard about an escaped prisoner on the run was true and another person approached to ask if someone had been killed .....
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85 what was the first occasion you held a suspect for 30 minutes??The First time i detained someone was for catching a male driving with no license!

a unit arrived in about 5 mins and dealt with him

However in my force we officially dont have the power of detention ..... so im not sure if that counts

Does the standard PCSO detention power state that you only have 30 mins to hold them or is this a force thing ?
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86 Are P.C.S.O'S issued with torches when on patrol at night time and can you use your own for example a Maglite?was issued with a 2 cell (AA) maglite, its not that great. I carry that along with my Surefire 6P which is only a little bigger but sooooo much more powerful!click here for further information if required
87 Does the role of PCSO keep you fit with all the walking involved??from my experience i have actually gained weight because of the police junk food eating when you can scenario. even though it do walk a lot.click here for further information if required
88 Can we sign passport applications? im with The Met if this makes a difference. Has anyone signed one before??No - you are Police staff, not a Civil Servant and a part-time Police Officer can countersign a passport.click here for further information if required
89 have my nose pierced & even though I did a search on this I could not find an answer as to whether this is ok for a PCSO. My sgt said if they say no then say it is your religion/culture! good on him I think NO. As this is most force's dress code policy. We have to look smart and proffesional, I know thames valley police do not let this happen, and rightly so. It will give the wrong image to the public we serve. We represent the police and police officers don't do this so why should we? If you make an execption for this, then where does it stop? it may go too far, putting pcso's into more disrepute than we allready are. I understand and support religous head dress but what is with noses?click here for further information if required
90 Why is there rewards for community police officers only? Don't pcso's put in community work too?I'm pretty sure that some PCSOs have been nominated for borough bravery awards - I have received both QSRs and borough commanders awards.click here for further information if required
91 Data Protection - Freedom of Information?think it always pays to be careful about what sort of info you release into the public domain.
However, as far as I know the data protection act only covers personal data.
IE it's an offence to release data specific to a single person or buisness without their consent.
click here for further information if required
92 Thee is a young lad who frequents my patch from outside of my area.
He is addicted to sniffing nail varnish!
Sometimes he steals it, sometimes he begs - both of which he can be locked up for.
More often than not he is found in a state that is often described by members of the public as 'off his face'. How can I deal with this persistant nuisance?
is this blokes behaviour disorderly? if this bloke is haning around and you have asked him to leave and he is refusing to do so, get him locked up for sec 5 POA. as you said he is causing harassment alarm and distress to members of the public as they have complained to you.

if not, then it doesnt seem you can do much. if he isnt commiting any offences, then you have no power to ask him to leave the area.
click here for further information if required
93 Did you know that a Government scheme exists that can save you around 50% off the cost of a new bike??One of the cops at Gateshead was looking at the option about 6 months ago. We've heard nothing since. Not sure it would work for me because I live quite a few miles away from the station.click here for further information if required
94 are PCSO surgeries a waste of time?I think they are a great idea, people dont wanna always approach us on the streets or come to the police station. At the moment we dont have any but im already planning to set some up in my housing area of my beat. Its all good community involvement and geting to know the community and issues in another way.click here for further information if required
95 first aid training---real life??This comes down to what we should do and what we like to do, as with much of our role.

In the Met we do not have 1st aid training but emergency life support, which as a former St. Johns member and having had 1st aid at work training, is not the same thing .

Our role is just the very basics and hope the LAS get there fast, even with the bleeding control we are taught we do not carry the bandages to put it in to practice, unless either a local house or shop can give them to you or you can improvise there is little that you can do even with the ELS except CPR
click here for further information if required
96 Was just wondering what hours or shift patterns everyone worked and if you liked them??7 days on - 2 off
7 on - 2 off
3 days on - 2 off
3 days on - 2 off

and our three shifts are
0800-1600
1000-1800 (used between a late and an early)
and 1500-2300

personally i dont mind our shift pattern however when its our weekend off we always finish the friday on a late and start the monday on an early, would be so much better if we could finish on an early and start on a late so we had a slightly longer weekend
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97 applying as a PCSO and a PC at the same time?I have also applied for both PC and PCSO at the same time, but presumably the PCSO application will be much quicker because its done locally rather than nationally (or am i imagining that?).

Does that mean if I am accepted as a PCSO and take it, I can go straight for the A/C as a PC without all the papersift stuff first?
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98 Can you apply for 2 forces at once??the BTP say that if they discover you have applied to more than one force then they will deem it as an integrity issue and discontinue your application, cant speak for GMP though mate.click here for further information if required
99 For those of us at Hendon training at the moment...On hair gel, I have seen people get told off for excessive gel etc

Go to the Hendon shop and get a pair of Magnums, then you can see which you prefer.

Jon
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100 is cannabis one of the worst drugs young people can take?In my three years as a PCSO I genuinely believe that skunk warps the brain i know at least a dozen youths that realy need to be getting mental health treatment and all of them were weed jockeys.
Class A,C or Z is irrelevant as the courts are not tough enough anyway. A caution for Class A possetion what message is that handing out.
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101 Who out there keeps there boots polished i am abit manic about mine and polish them about three times a week, my brother inlaw a pc tells me that its neerdy, but i just want to look presentable how about you guys and dolls?Yep, once a week, i cover my boots in polish and then leave them in a warm place overnight, in the morning, i brush off the excess polish and then buff over the toecaps, works wonders, other than that, i simply brush off any muck at the end of the day.click here for further information if required
102 Was wondering, do they test you for any drugs at the PCSO medical? Ie-Urine test or hair follicle test.Apparently Marijuana can be detected for a while in urine and longer in the hair strand?Hiya Redman, I had a urine test at my medical but I have no idea what they were actually testing for, and they didn't do a hair follicle test. However each force may be different.click here for further information if required
103 Currently studying up on race and diversity, anyone know what the seven subject are within the definition i.e. sexuality,disability etc.? seems that none of the blackstone books have a list of the 7? any ideas??the Seven Strands of Diversity =

Age
Gender
Faith and Belief
Sexual Orientation
Disability
Ethnicity

....and one more which I can't remember.....but will check tomorrow........!!
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104 I just downloaded my application form to be a PCSO, but i keep thinking to myself that i may be to old for this job?no way.

On my day 1/2 i had 50+ year olds
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105 Dead Bodies and Scene Guards!?Very morbid yes also interesting must say it does not appeal to me in the slightest but thats the job i suppose.click here for further information if required
D I S C L A I M E R
This faq is comprised of 2007 - 2008 questions and answers, cited by guests or members of the site P C S O.com

The questions and answers are reproduced in good faith and with the purpose of assisting UK candidates for position as PCSO.
When you read an "answer" on this page, please remember that it was written by another member of the site, who hopefully knows what they're talking about, but the information may be out of date or even totally wrong.
If you are in doubt, then please find the enquiry number provided to you in your application pack and phone to confirm the exact and current answer to your query.

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Marlon
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Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 152186Post Marlon
Mon Jul 14, 2008 9:02 am

I think this thread is rather unwieldy as it currently stands, to the point where it's probably not the useful tool it could be for people who need it.

My first point; the FAQs are too long and contain irrelevant material, for example FAQ number 28 ...
Ive just found out that my recent assessment day for a PCSO with Dorset Police has been successful.

However, I am slightly worried as my financial situation has not been great in the past and I have a poor credit record. My current situation has improved as I have consolidated all of my debts into one and pay this comfortably on my wages.

Just wondered if anyone knew if I'm likely to be credit reference checked as part of the vetting?

This could be much simpler if it were rewritten as
Background vetting: will my credit history be checked?


or similar.



Secondly, if it's possible, I'd like to see the questions themselves become clickable links, rather than as it currently stands with the clickable link to the right of the question, and the preview of the first answer in the thread and then the clickable link. It would free up some space which would again make the FAQ easier to read and use IMO.

Thirdly, I think there's probably too many FAQs already. Some are just not FAQ material. For example FAQ number 100 "is cannabis one of the worst drugs young people can take?" - is this genuinely a frequently asked question on this board? I don't think so, and the answer's so subjective that the question is next to worthless IMO.

A question like number 96 "Was just wondering what hours or shift patterns everyone worked and if you liked them??" is not really FAQ material either, in my eyes. Or rather it is, if you ask "What shift pattern will I work as a PCSO?" The answer though is "This is force- or station-specific and you should contact the force to which you are applying for an answer.

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mj12cz
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Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 152200Post mj12cz
Mon Jul 14, 2008 7:18 pm

Yep, 3 years service and part of the team here on National PCSO's, if I can help feel free to PM me!
"Its a mother beautiful bridge and its going to be there"

Save the cheer leader, save the world.....

People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
George Orwell

KarenG

Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 174249Post KarenG
Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:58 am

This is just great info for a newbie like me :) Thank you so much and I will refer this forum to my friends as well.

darrylphilander

Re: 2008 MAIN FAQ

Post: # 189920Post darrylphilander
Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:03 am

The medical recruiting process is continually evolving and changing, but certain key elements are always true and never change. First, facilities will always need staff. Second, staff will always need facilities to work. All the medical staffing agencies are essentially doing the same thing. :sldu2: :slsm: :P

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