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PCSO

Police community support officers (PCSOs) are a vital part of the police family and are valued members within local policing teams.

The role of a PCSO

The role of a PCSO involves working alongside police officers and assisting the force in achieving its mission of creating a safer Cambridgeshire.

PCSOs provide a visible uniformed presence and focus on reducing anti-social behaviour and the fear of crime as well as reassuring the public to help make the county a safer place to live and work.

PCSOs may help with issues such as;

  • providing and reassuring presence in the community
  • dealing with community issues
  • gathering evidence for investigations
  • helping with missing people enquiries
  • assisting with house-to-house enquiries
  • patrolling major public events
  • protecting the public from security threats
  • supporting victims
  • helping direct traffic at scenes of accidents.

PCSOs regularly work with partner agencies, such as local councils, and attend community and Neighbourhood Watch meetings as well as paying visits to nearby schools and colleges.

Although PCSOs do not have the power to make arrests, they are able to hold suspects for up to 30 minutes until a police officer arrives.

Skills and experience to be a PCSO

PCSOs are required to have;

  • good verbal communication skills
  • ability to use tact and diplomacy when dealing with emotional individuals
  • clear written communication skills, including the ability to draft reports
  • confident, mature and assertive manner
  • the ability to develop positive working relationships with people at all levels
  • team work skills
  • a willingness to get involved in a range of situations
  • a reasonably high level of fitness to perform foot patrols
  • an appreciation of the importance of confidentiality
  • flexibility in working hours and demand
  • high levels of initiative, awareness and judgement.

Training for PCSOs

PCSOs are trained at force headquarters over six weeks and the training covers;

  • relevant areas of law
  • human rights legislation
  • community awareness
  • problem-solving skills
  • patrolling skills
  • using the police computer
  • paperwork
  • airwave training
  • self-defence
  • first aid.

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