As the officer currently tasked with re-writing the PCSO training course for my force, this is an interesting thread. The actual task of completing a crime report shouldn't really tie anyone to the station. It is, after all, a form filling exercise- or even a telephone call depending on the force. The issue would be do you understand the points to prove for the crime so that you may recognise it? We all know how members of the public will say things like, "I've been robbed" when in fact they have only been the victim of a theft. So it is down to the reporting officer to make a decision as to what the actual offence is. But this would also apply to any offence, including those that you may report for summons or write a ticket for. I have often wondered how many PCSOs have written PND for s.5 Public Order offences without knowing what the actual points to prove and defences are????
In Cambs, PCSOs may only take crime reports for:
• Theft (not burglaries or deceptions)
• Criminal damage
• Theft of and from motor vehicle
• Cycle crime
Within the timetable all new PCSOs in Cambs will get an input on those offences, covering points to prove and defences. With that knowledge, and a level 1 interview course, they can also take witness/ victim statements for those offences. Once again, it’s not necessary to do these at the station. For that reason I do not consider this to be outside their high profile uniform patrolling role. After all, you are not just a body in uniform.
Keep up the good work folks.