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national-PCSOs is TEN YEARS OLD

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:39 am
by falkor
:slhi: hey the site is 10 :slhat:

ten years and we actually do have some PCSO news articles going right back to 2004

1. ... l#tenyears This takes you to a 2004 news article reporting on a PCSO dubbed a "supermarket `superman' who appeared from nowhere" to free a child stuck in a trolley

2. if you scroll up a bit from that one, you come to a second 2004 news item - headline "Alarm at plan to use community support officers to tackle beggars, drinking and carrying weapons"

SO, TEN YEARS AGO! what were you doing 10 years back? and have PCSOs changed greatly in the last 10 years?

Re: national-PCSOs is TEN YEARS OLD

Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:49 am
by powdermonkey
Ten years ago I was in SOCO and the only time I had any real interaction with PCSO's was when they were acting as scene guards. I can't say, from personal experience, how much the role has changed in that time, as I've only been in the role 2 years. However, colleagues who have say it's changed quite a lot and for the better (accepted and appreciated by most police officers, better deployment, greater variation in tasks and an increase in powers to be able to cope with situations encountered).

A question in return . . . .what will the next ten years bring?

Re: national-PCSOs is TEN YEARS OLD

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:45 am
by falkor
PM you will be aware more than most of us how the presence of DNA on otherwise startlingly innocuous items can bring stunning results, for example an office was broken into off a multi-storey car park and the cash box looted. SOCO was alerted by attending officers to a can of pepsi cola that the office manager insisted was never there before the break in. DNA put the suspect at the scene of the crime - and just imagine explaining your way out of that one, and the minute you have an arrest for the break in, you also have a s18 on the suspect's house, which many times brings the "evidence" a plenty, we still don't use SOCO enough, they can bring sensational evidence to a case

A question in return . . . .what will the next ten years bring?
PCSOs were supposed to number 24,000 the Labour Government told us ten years ago, this they soon amended to 16,000 within a year so 24,000 was never achieved and numbers of PCSOs have moved down from 16,000 ever since

the MET POLICE and several other Police Forces e.g. City of London have cut their PCSOs by half - most Forces have cut their PCSOs so what will PCSOs look like in 10 years from now? cor :slhuh: what a question! PASS! :slch2:

:slsp: 2004 national-PCSOs site interviews, the original interviews recorded ten years back :sljo:
check out one of the very first PCSO interview pages this site released TEN YEARS BACK in 2004: the page is split into 3 brief interviews with PCSOs who were forum members back then

1. Digger was quite possibly the very first PCSO to be interviewed on the site : ENJOY!!

2. The middle interview is with PCSO John Burnell although his real name is used on the interview page, we still have some of John's posts left although his account was accidentally wiped following some bad UCP stuff that he did back then, I think he wanted his account wiped TBH but never mind that is all a long time ago now and he is best remembered as an extremely good forum member and of course PCSO (he's probably a PC by now)

3. Dilly Day Dream was one of the very first PCSOs to join the site ten years ago, she was a marvellous moderator on the site as well, her interview was placed both on the page and copied across to a 2004 thread which over the years was deleted by an automatic process (pruning) so that is why there are precious few links to her interview, after a moderator reshuffle she left the site but has always been greatly missed

Re: national-PCSOs is TEN YEARS OLD

Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:33 pm
by powdermonkey
Gazing into my crystal ball, well, plastic as it was from the pound shop, I offer my vision of the future for PCSO's.

Because the cuts are continuing and because their effect will be felt for years to come, I can see us being deployed to a greater range of jobs, being the OIC in more offences and generally being used as much as possible to make up for the shortfall in police officers. Whether this will trigger a pay rose and/or an increase in powers or even more PPE remains to be seen.

I can quite easily see any recruitment of PCSO's being for fixed term contracts as forces see how the budgets are in future years.

As for SOCO, falkor, I'm a big supporter of forensic evidence as you can imagine (although there are caveats to my support). Unfortunately, due those pesky cuts (again) SOCO will not be used as widely as you or I might hope. SOCO dept heads will look to target their resources at scenes with the best potential for yielding evidence. I've seen that in West Yorks with low level crime such as Damage To, and Theft From, Vehicles.
If you woke up one morning to find some oik had walked over your car leaving footwear marks on bonnet, roof and boot, then a handsome & intelligent SOCO (such as myself) would attend and photograph and lift the footwear marks. Unfortunately, because they are comparative evidence, you need the footwear used to convict the oik, which means you need intel or other evidence to point you towards the oik. Attendance at such scenes was dropped because there were so few convictions compared to the number of scenes attended, cost of processing and soring the evidence etc etc

The same rationale was applied to TFMV. I could quite easily go to a dozen or more TFMV jobs in a day (scattering ali, powder hither and yonder - hence my username) but gather little or no evidence. Nowadays, SOCO only attend a TFMV if the door's been bent out, if there's visible DNA (e.g. blood, spit etc) or if there's visible fingerprints. Note the visible : most powdering is a search for latent fingerprints (ones not visible to the naked eye). One may use powder to enhance and then lift a fingerprint.

I once joked that the day would come that we would post to the complainant a small sachet of powder, a disposable brush, some sticky tape and instructions on how to lift fingerprints, much in the way that we currently send out kits for getting elimination fingerprints. You can already buy small pots of powder so my joke may yet turn out to be a premonition.

The biggest costs to a force are wages and premises. I expect more staff losses through reduced recruitment/replacements and more centralisation to reduce premises costs (and no care given to the effect on response times).

The public will not get the service it deserves but that is easily dealt with. Rather than having an undertaking to "meet public expectations" a force will "manage public expectations . . . .et voila! Meanwhile, every serving officer, PCSO & all other staff will do their best to keep the wheel on.