What does a police community support officer do?

Police community support officers (PCSOs) are uniformed police staff. They provide a visible and accessible uniformed presence in the community, focusing on improving quality of life for the public.

They do not replace special constables. The role of PCSO is unique, designed purely to tackle anti-social behaviour and local issues affecting the quality of life. Their focus is on crime prevention, rather than investigation and detection.

They do not replace police officers, they support them. PCSOs carry out many of the tasks that do not require the experience or powers held by police officers. This means that officers are able to devote their time to more appropriate duties.

How are PCSOs different to police officers?

PCSOs do not have the same powers as police officers and special constables. For example, a PCSO does not have the same powers of arrest, but they can issue a fixed penalty notice or disperse groups. The powers granted to PCSOs varies between police forces, so you may see PCSOs on TV documentaries doing things that PCSOs in other areas cannot.

One thing that PCSOs and police officers alike will tell you is that no two shifts are the same. If you enjoy variety, meeting people and want to make your community a safer and more pleasant place to be, this is the job for you!

Are PCSOs paid employees or volunteers?

This is a paid role – the starting salary is £23,503.