November 3rd, 2006

PCSOs are Human too

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

There has been a lot of discussion in the police blogs recently on the role of PCSOs. I guess this is due to a recent TV series on PCSOs Beat: Life on the Street. I haven’t seen the programme so I can’t comment on its content but I want to make a few points about PCSOs in general, particularly in light of some of the appalling comments made by some police officers in the blogs.

DisgruntledCop slags them off as a complete & utter waste of money, calling them “Dayglo lumps”, but confesses to not knowing what they do. At the time of writing there were 32 comments (hint, hint, see my earlier posts on commenting here), many of which serve merely to slag off PCSOs. One anonymous cop says “don’t get me wrong. I have several friends who are PCSOs, and they do a great job. After all, I didn’t spend 31 weeks at training school up north and then a further 18 months learning to the best police officer I can be just so I can deal with civil disputes and other non crime related dross that the call handlers send us to.” And, “Get used to the notion that some police officers will never trust you or want you at their station. The idea was not welcomed by the majority of proper front line police officers. Get used to the idea that you are not good enough to get into the police force as a proper police officer, even if you have never tried to get into the police force.”

Another says, “I don’t know many PCSOs who want to stay a PCSO, they are all wannabe PCs.

Another complains about name-calling, slags off someone for their spelling & grammatical errors and proceeds to make 11 grammatical & spelling errors in 5 short paragraphs.

PC Plod, talking to a PCSO says, “have you given any thought as to your prospects of advancement, or are you happy with being a PCSO for the rest of your working life?”, er, that’ll be like me and the thousands of other PCs who have wanted to remain as PCs for 30 years then will it, I’d say that was highly commendable, perhaps PC Plod was saying the same, but I doubt it.

What these comments, and the hundreds of others in the police forums, actually do is spread false propaganda about the role of PCSOs and many of them are factually incorrect. I may be in somewhat of a minority, but I wish to attempt to adjust the balance.

One of the blogs complains about the wages of a PCSO, saying that they get more than starting PCs. PCSOs get paid between £13,000 per year and £24,000 depending on which force they work for. Hertfordshire pays the most & Lincolnshire pays the least as salaries were set by individual forces. The higher-paying forces, in hindsight, have realised that they are paying too much and have frozen the salaries so current PCSOs on the top whack will get no pay rise for several years until the salary falls into line with the amended value of the role (which will be somewhat less than current top pay)

PCs start on about £20,000 rising to £22,700 after training. (Met officers get about 6 grand more). There is only one force which starts their PCSOs on a salary greater than a newbie PC; Herts. There are only 3 forces whose maximum PCSO salary is greater than a newbie PC; Kent, Suffolk & the Met (who also have extra allowances for their PCSOs). So the assertion that PCSOs get paid more than new PCs, whilst it is correct in a small minority of cases, is actually very misleading. Also, PCs have a salary structure which increases every year up to £32,000. PCSOs don’t have such a  structure, indeed, some forces will not be giving their PCSOs a rise for years.

Many people say things like, ‘for every 3 PCSOs we could have 2 PCs’. They base this on the fact that a PC costs a few grand a year more than a PCSO. This is also misleading and does not take into account that many of their PCs are paid in excess of £35,000 year, they have an excellent pension which can be paid at 2/3 their salary for longer than they were actually a PC, and it costs many many more times to train a PC and maintain career training than it does for a PCSO.

Many police officers fail to understand the role of the PCSO. Criticisms about not being sworn officers, unable to investigate crimes, where are they all on a Friday & Saturday night when it’s all kicking off, if they find a crime they have to call the police, etc etc etc.

PC Southwest said on one of the blogs that they have, “no crimes to carry & investigate, no heavy workload, if there is a crime they can call a PC, no serious confrontation, no night shifts or working past midnight, not accountable for the amount of force used, no having to respond to code one calls, no stress.”

Well no shit Sherlock. That’s like slagging off a nurse because they don’t have to go out in an ambulance on a Saturday night; they are different jobs!

The role of a PCSO includes:

  • Providing a visible & reassuring presence in the community
  • Attending disorder, nuisance & anti-social behaviour
  • Dealing with community issues
  • Gathering evidence through observation
  • Helping with missing person enquiries
  • Assisting with house to house enquiries
  • Crowd control
  • Directing traffic at accidents and roadblocks

Exactly the kind of stuff which many of the cops who slag them off moan like fuck when they get tasked to do it. Our PCSOs do a whole lot more. They often offer up to do jobs which they’re not really supposed to do but we let them anyway, they back up officers, take crime reports, assist with prisoners, all sorts.  

    There was a joke in one of the daily papers last week which showed a big bastard burglar coming out of a doorway carrying a crowbar & a PCSO who says “Can you wait until I get a proper copper”. It gives a completely false impression of the role of a PCSO. Something like a PC opening the same door, water pours out onto the street & the copper gets slagged off for saying “Can you wait until I get a proper plumber”. Maybe the joke should have showed nobody at the door & the burglar walking off into the sunset with his bag of goodies because that is the alternative to not having the PCSO there. At least they can call an officer.

    I’m a tax-payer as well as a police officer and I pay rather a lot. Do you think I’d get more value for money paying someone 35 grand a year to stand outside my kids’ school asking people not to park on the zig-zags when someone will do it for 15 or 17 grand? There are many other roles which exactly the same applies. PCSOs free up police resources to attend to many more ‘serious’ matters (and we can’t even do that properly).

    If PCSOs aren’t carrying out the roles they are recruited for, that is the fault of those who manage them. In my experience they have been a valuable addition to the ‘policing community’ and provide resources for stuff which would otherwise be left ignored.

    Yes, we might be able to do a bit more with more officers, we could have one on every street if we had enough, but it ain’t gonna happen.

    We have, what is it, 141,000 police officers. Numbers increase year on year and mostly have done and will continue to do so. As police (mis)management takes officers away from their core responsibilities a huge gap is being left in the market and PCSOs are filling this gap.

    Maybe if managers sorted out internal problems with their ‘human resource management’ and got back to proper policing, we could have more officers tasked to ‘proper policing’ instead of being in ‘not my remit’ roles. Then we could have the best of both worlds.

    If you’re gonna slag off PCSOs, and there are things which aren’t right about the system, you might at least attempt to find out what they are supposed to do.
     

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    92 comments

    1. Paul says:

      Well, yes and no.

      The concern I have about PSCOs is not the concept. It’s the implementation.

      This comes from other areas of the public sector. Teaching and Health. In both of these the ‘dumbed down cheap equivalent’ is increasingly being used *in place of* the “proper copper” ; examples include “High Level Teaching Assistants” and “Nurse Practitioners”. These are, respectively, TAs with a bit more cash looking after whole classes, and Nurses who’ve done a short course making diagnoses.

      If the Police were managed properly (usual Parkinson problem) then there wouldn’t be the need for this junk.

      Aside on Police Bureaucracy: my other half recently was a witness to some dangerous driving viz. a bloke driving across a roundabout (literally) and hitting the vehicle she was in. A Police Officer interviewed her there and took extensive notes. Now she’s been sent ….. a big form which has exactly the same questions which could she ‘please fill in’ ….

      November 3rd, 2006 at 08:18

    2. Dr Dan H. says:

      I suppose that what really annoys people about PCSOs is that they were portrayed to the public as a cheap way of bolstering police numbers, but have turned out of be pretty much useless. Government surveys of crime before and after the introduction of PCSOs to an area have shown consistently that there is no significant difference.

      The powers a PCSO has are minimal. This makes them next to useless for routine policing; they simply aren’t a threat to criminals save as observers, and most criminals are already well known to police. Most yobs know a PCSO is a paper tiger, and treat them as such; PCSO-baiting is a common sport on large estates, simply because it is so risk-free and so amusing (and let’s face it, who can blame youths for indulging in a little baiting of muppets like these?).

      So, why bother with PCSOs? Herts Police have clearly not been thinking, since their lot are paid almost as much as coppers, so no money is saved by using PCSOs. As per usual with this government, there is no deep, sinister motivation behind the policy. Deep sinister motives require brains the Government collectively hasn’t got; they merely have shallow petty-mindedness and low-grade stupidity and very little foresight.

      No, this is just another governmental fuckup, caused by a vaguely promising idea not being planned out properly (and discarded as useless) before implementation. They do this a lot; speed cameras got rolled out on the completely untested hypothesis that speed caused road accidents (it does, but very few), CCTV got rolled out as a good idea that wasn’t tested, and ID cards are getting the same treatment.

      They just don’t think ahead, or think at all, and then they lie like hell to cover up the products of this low-grade moronic sort of evil. Britain is not turning into a police state; it is turning into a moron state.

      November 3rd, 2006 at 12:29

    3. bj says:

      the point about “nurse consultants” replacing proper medical consultants (and incidentally medical consultants needing significantly less training and experience to be appointed than they did but a few years ago

      “techining classroom assistants” now regularly running classes without a quailified techers

      and PCSO’s all have their parallels

      they are all from the same labour party whiteboard session which came up with these ideas at the same time, and incidentally did the high level of the multi billion pound waste of resources on IT for the NHS nonsense ideas at the same time

      these unelected, hardly debated during elections, silly ideas came from the blairs and mandelsons of this world

      and they are all failing for pretty much the same reasons

      which is not to say many a good senior nurse, teaching assistant, and PCSO are not worth their weight in gold

      rather it is the way they are used and organised, and the systemic failure to manage the public sector properly which is the problem

      November 3rd, 2006 at 14:24

    4. ted says:

      The point about police officers dealing with parking and other minor issues is that they only spend a percentage of their time doing these jobs. Then when they are not doing these jobs they are available for other police work.
      I can’t put hard fact and figures on it but my perception is that where I live and work general disorder and petty crime (vandalism, car crime etc which is not the least bit petty to the victims) is increasing hugely in some areas. I believe the yobs have now realised that for most incidents at weekends we are so overstretched that it will be hours in many cases before the police arrive. If we arrive at all. The chance of patrol officers finding and stopping disorder at an early stage is small.
      I believe therefore that any cash available should be spent getting cops on the street. Either by employing more cops or what might make more sense financially in the long run having an overtime budget to be used to get extra cops on the street when and where it counts.
      There may be a place for PCSOs but I think they are a luxury we can’t afford right now.

      November 6th, 2006 at 19:49

    5. PCSO says:

      Great post!
      It’s good to see there are some Officers who don’t completely hate us.

      November 7th, 2006 at 21:11

    6. Brit1234 says:

      I don’t see why we should have them in such large numbers, their effect on crime is small. As said above all the criminals know they have no power and it is painfull to see kids abusing them off duty.

      We had a system a few years back where we had a couple on team to assist us. That worked really well. They were working with us on a 24 hour shift patrolling about.When we needed them for boarding up, asisting with large groups and other duties they were there. We had a lot of time for those PCSOs. However they were taken from team and vast numbers were recruited, Now they have no focus and hardly ever assit us, it upsets us when we are bing run ragged and there are large groups of PCSO chatting in groups on the street.

      They have there uses but I think the whole idea and numbers should be rethought in aim at reducing crime and making policing more efficient.

      November 25th, 2006 at 18:08

    7. john says:

      As a member of the public, I feel duped by the goverment by giving us pretent police. PCSOs to me or failed police applicants, half trained,unprofessional cop wanabees,a waste of my money (taxpayer),
      nosey busy bodys, what happens if a kids lost” go & find a Police Community Support Officer” The public should have being giving a vote about PCSOs first, I’ sure no one would have wanted them, if its the Uniform there loads of lollypop man/lady vacancys. Can you remember cardboard cut out police cars in the 1990s?? thats the modern day equiverlant, a PCSO

      November 29th, 2006 at 15:38

    8. Samuel Smith says:

      I am a 20 year old male considering a career as a PCSO, but am put off by the abuse they receive from youths.
      I want to become a Police Officer and have done since i was at school.
      What John has posted is disgusting, in every job there are diffrent roles, i think we are wasting more money on immigration and the giving out of freebies like houses for example to immagrants. So they feel at home, any help for 1st time buyers from the goverment, i don’t think so.
      PCSO’s are a presence on the streets but are undermined with the LACK OF power that they have, with public knowing this does make their job alot harder.
      I believe more power should be given to PCSO’s along with equipment to protect themselves.

      September 27th, 2007 at 17:59

    9. Missy says:

      I can personally vouch for the fact that PCSOs are a waste of space and tax payers money.

      http://mpress.missweblash.com/article.asp?id=140

      Following this incident, I have received an apology from the Police, who have gone as far as to admit that PCSOs are pretty pointless when it comes to dealing with real crime.

      Do yourself and the public a favour – join the *real* Police force.

      November 3rd, 2007 at 12:11

    10. 200 says:

      Missy,

      not afraid of sweeping generalisations at all are you, you had a bad experience from one (poss 2) PCSOs and so the whole concept is a ‘waste of space & tax payers money’

      Get with the programme, PCSOs aren’t there to deal “with real crime”, that’s the job of the police.

      As annoying as it is, you don’t actually have the right to park in front of your own house, anyone can park there, so if your neighbours have 3 cars and they get there first, it might be annoying but it certainly isn’t illegal.

      I also see you slag them off for ‘not putting a child’s life before their own’ – have you actually looked into that story or just read the headline press, if you had, you’d know the circumstances were quite different from the headlines which initially appeared.

      Oh, and just to balance your viewpoint, you obviously didn’t hear about the 2 PCSOs in Watford a couple of weeks ago who jumped into a river to rescue a suicidal female and dragged her to the bank, using the same ‘balanced view’ as you this must mean that PCSOs are actually very brave, and extremely good value for money – just ask the suicidal female’s parents!

      November 3rd, 2007 at 12:49

    11. Missy says:

      What those people were doing WAS illegal in every sense of the word.
      They were DELIBERATELY parking ON my driveway – my own property, not a public road.

      They harassed my family (including my 10 yr old son) on a daily basis – including threats of violence. The female tried to break down our front door on one ocassion. She was eventually dealt with because I went to my local police station and demanded that the issue was dealt with by a real Police Officer, not an overgrown prefect who was just as afraid of my neighbours as I was.

      Referring back to the roles of the PCSO that you cite in your article,

      Neither of the PSCOs in question did nothing to reassure me, my family our other neighbours who were suffering at the hands of a family of thugs.

      Did nothing to deal with the ‘community issue’ of how an entire street was being intimidated by these people.

      Did nothing to ‘gather evidence through observation’ They asked a handful of inane questions and left.

      To be quite honest I don’t give a s*** about the girl in Watford – what I do care about is the safety of my own family – which our local PSCO’s are to inept or unwilling to do anything about. I’ve paid my taxes for nearly 30 years now – I expect some return on that investment.

      November 3rd, 2007 at 17:09

    12. 200 says:

      “To be quite honest I don’t give a s*** about the girl in Watford”

      Well that about sums you up then, not surprising then that people don’t give a shit about your problems really, is it?

      November 3rd, 2007 at 17:38

    13. Missy says:

      Tell me… why did you joing the Police? To abuse the public, was it?

      November 11th, 2007 at 16:32

    14. 200 says:

      why , have you been abused? You really have no interest or care about why I joined the police, it certainly wasn’t to blow smoke of the arses of people like you.

      Why did you come to this blog, to abuse PCSO?s, oh, no need to answer that one as clearly that is the case.

      November 11th, 2007 at 23:28

    15. Butch says:

      I work with police officers and PCSOs every day. PCSOs are NOT Police Officers, they are Community Support. A few of the PCSOs I deal with are certainly nothing but a waste of time, and whinge about everything. Many others want to do a good job foe their community. It takes all sorts after all – give the good ones a change and sack the lazy whinging ones.

      November 21st, 2007 at 23:41

    16. 200 says:

      Butch,
      yep, good & bad in every role. But your comment that PCSOs are NOT police officers is like saying “nurses aren’t firemen” i.e stating the bleeding obvious, it’s a pity more people who slag them off for exactly the same don’t realise that too.

      November 22nd, 2007 at 08:36

    17. Butch says:

      True, people think they are there to provide a 2 tier police service. Unfortunately I think a lot of the PCSOs think they are police officers. I think that I may have stated the obvious, but it isn’t generally known!

      November 23rd, 2007 at 22:18

    18. Missy says:

      200, a marginally valid point…. but why the hell does the Police Service send out PSCO’s when a member of the public has been the victim of umpteen crimes and obviously at risk of harm?

      The two PCSO’s that were were sent to my home – at a time when my 10-yr old son was at grave risk by maniacal neighbours – couldn’t even park their bicycles let alone provide any support*

      Since my last post, the neighbour from hell has been imprisoned for 2 years. His partner was given a suspended sentence and their children taken into care. We have also received a formal apology from the Police Service for the inappropriate handling of our case.

      Sometimes, just sometimes, the public are right.

      *this is not a joke – one of them leant their bike against another neighbours’ car and damaged it!!!

      December 8th, 2007 at 18:34

    19. Howard Wilson says:

      Missy, For your future information, as you have a rental house next door, Landlords have a “duty of care” to the neighbours of their tenants, a good Solicitor will always rectify any problems with nuisance tenants.

      PCSO’s are giving ‘presence’ on the streets, the lack of which has driven a gulf between the Police and the Community.

      December 26th, 2007 at 03:15

    20. Moody blues PCSO says:

      I am a serving PCSO and I would like to thank 200 for your comments. The public and police officers in general do not realise what a difficult and demoralising job being a PCSO can be. Constant abuse from police officers, the federation and the public. “All the world will be your enemy, prince with a thousand enemies” that should be the pcso motto.
      Those police officers and members of the public who slag off pcsos really don’t have a clue what we do. Yes there are some lazy cowards out there but that is the same as in any profession. People don’t seem to see the good we do. The people’s lives who have been blighted by anti-social behaviour- ‘the police don’t care’ that is what these people tell me. ‘I haven’t seen a police officer in fourteen years’ that’s another one, or how about ‘I feel a lot safer going out now knowing that you pcsos are patrolling the streets day and day out’ that is what one disabled lady told me.
      I suffered a nasty assualt on duty whilst saving a member of the public from a good beating(i am only a small female) with no safety equipment, but the press don’t seem to ever hear the good things that Pcsos do. Pcsos have made a differnce to the quality of life of a lot of people living in rough dangerous areas. We walk these deprived streets everyday and all we get is abuse. Police officers constantly complain but at least they are respected, something we will never be. We are not human we are made of cardboard and plastic. Eventually the federation will have its way and we will be gone. I expect comments will follow to the affect of how melodramatic but it’s the truth.

      December 26th, 2007 at 15:15

    21. Taxpayer says:

      PCSO’s are USELESS, a complete waste of time and money, only a blind man could come up with such a ridiculous idea, I live in quite a nice area and we do have these plastic plods mainly as decoration but on the sink estates, feral youths ridicule these losers, openly swigging white cider and baiting these muppets in ill fitting uniforms from primark and dopey looking plastic cap badges, these fake coppers are nothing but school bullying victims and social misfits desperate to wear a uniform and feel important, they are treated as either a bad joke or with utter contempt by the general public and the REAL Police alike, scrap the lot of them and spend the money wasted on proper policing.

      October 10th, 2008 at 22:37

    22. Disgruntled PCSO says:

      I am a PCSO. I have been bitten, bottled, punched, shoved and spat at. I have been abused by members of the public and ignored by police officers. I have saved police officers from being punched and attacked and I have been dragged into the office and disciplined for doing my job and protecting members of the public from aggressive layabouts.

      We ARE a waste of space but I got into the job with the aim of becoming a regular. After witnessing how the public treat the police/PCSOs and, maybe more, how the police themselves treat PCSOs I don’t really fancy it anymore.

      October 27th, 2008 at 01:33

    23. Disgruntled Member of the public says:

      Let’s just get rid of these fake coppers and get real police back on the streets.

      November 9th, 2008 at 21:44

    24. Darren Ward says:

      PCSOs? What a joke!

      There is a Tescos next to Grimsby Police station, some muppet came up with the bright idea of putting a cardboard cut out of a PCSO in store to deter shoplifters, someone stole it, a PCSO is no use, so a cardboard one is even more useless (if that’s possible), locals hold PCSOs in contempt as they are absolutely, incompetent, have no power, command no respect and are utterly useless, a cardboard cut out of a PCSO! Basically a fake, fake cop and that is meant to cut crime? If Humberside Police waste any time investigating a piece of missing cardboard, I will demand to know how much of my council tax is wasted on these plastic plods and withold it, we want PROPER Police not FAKE Plastic plods and certainly not Cardboard cut outs of FAKE cops.

      November 21st, 2008 at 19:12

    25. Steve says:

      I’m a security officer and I get treated with more respect than a PCSO. I did toy with the idea of becoming a PCSO as I feel that, at 30, I’m way past joining the regular police force plus I dont think I’m fit enough anyway, but I’ve heard all the horror stories about PCSO’s and how much the public hold them in contempt, so I think I’ll stick to being a respected security officer. When I did retail security, yobs would come into the store and treat me with respect because they knew that I was there for a reason and had the power to deal with them. Any that I had to throw out went quietly and almost always opened their defensive arguments with “No disrespect to you mate, but…” If I’d been a PCSO, I would’ve been told to f*ck off! Even security officers command more respect than PCSO’s. The ones I see while cycling to work are usually always girls no taller than 5’8″ who just look so vulnerable! Its pityful really.

      November 27th, 2008 at 02:25

    26. Disgrunlted PCSO says:

      As a PCSO I can vouch that we get treated with contempt by the public and a lot of regular police officers too. It is frustrating having to go to jobs where we can’t do anything so we have to call in regular officers who are then pissed off with us for not being able to handle it. I will give you one example: my colleague and I were called to a house because a woman wanted some crime prevention advice. When we got there, it turned out she was the victim of domestic violence and wanted her partner locked up and the items he had stolen returned. We couldn’t do anything so we had to tell her to phone the police.

      At times though we do apprehend criminals and get into fights and we have no equipment so people end up bruised or injured and we don’t get many thanks for it. It is a non-job really and no one – not the PCSOs, managers or fellow police officers – know what we are meant to be doing. Some PCSOs are used for drugs raids! Some end up doing very little and some end up being gophers and tea-boys/girls for police officers

      November 28th, 2008 at 22:47

    27. Neil says:

      Just to reply to Steve, security ‘guards’ are even more of a joke than PCSO’s! Still I hear that PCSO’s in Bolton are handing out bubble blowers to drunks these days, MUPPETS!

      December 3rd, 2008 at 23:10

    28. pcso applicant says:

      Has someone who has applied to be a pcso for the reasons the job describtion and application pack clearly states…which for the pc’s out there who clearly havent read it is….to reduce and prevent crime by being a visable presence.( and has i hear you scoff i do actually see pcso’s out and about..cant say the same bout pc’s)…build links with the community and look to solve community quality of life problems…( wording not exact but you get the drift )…doesnt say anthing bout solving crime or driving very fast in cars!!…most pcso’s know what the role is when they apply and his one of the reasons they do apply….how pc’s can bitch about it is beyond me…they dont effect your job…if its not one were a pcso has no power over you would be called to it anyway!!!..and the roles specifically for the pcso will have no bearing on your workload either…so weres the problem?….some of the comments made on here illustrate why the pcso role was set up initially…to build up better relations between the police force and the public…because the same negative attitude you display in these comments you also take to your job and to the public….so rather than blame everybody else look closer to home as to why we now have pcso’s in the community….

      And i dont aim this at all police…theres good and bad among all roles and that includes pcso’s!

      January 10th, 2009 at 13:57

    29. MICKYBOY says:

      “Let’s just get rid of these fake coppers and get real police back on the streets.”

      They are already on the streets!!! if you open your eyes you’ll see them.

      From a fellow TAXPAYER and also a PCSO, Do you know what POWERS us PCSOs have?.

      in my force we can do the lot raise crimes ,take statements, issue PNDs for everything but only thing we can’t do is arrest BUT really lets slag of a lorry driver who sits on his backside and eats crap and so on.

      This is England and its the norm for us Brits to be never happy for anything and always got to have a Moan so do me a favor please give things a chance you unhappy lot.

      and by the way i just WASTED my time reading your crap thanks.

      January 10th, 2009 at 17:42

    30. Uncle Vanya says:

      Wow, a lot of disgrunted punters out there! PCSOs are NOT Police Officers and never were intended to be. Its rather strange that PCSOs/CSOs are sometimes called ‘Blunketts Bobbies’, when, as I udnerstand it – PCSOs, or a similar ‘uniformed presence’ was actually a Conservative idea.

      PCSOs are a ‘uniformed presence’ in the neighbourhood, a reassurance. I would rather see PCSOs out on the neighbourhood Beat, than nothing at all. And, Yes, they do have some effect – the petty vandalism and low levels of yobbery in the village I live has reduced remarkably since two PCSOs started foot patrols around the village 2 or 3 years ago.

      Maybe I am a bit biased as I am a retired Police Civilian. It also has to be stated that from an historic point of view, Traffic Wardens (Yellow Peril) were given the same sort of treatment back in the late 1960s when they first appeared on the streets of UK towns and cities. They were called all sorts of names, and unfortunately they (and Parking Wardens) still seem to draw hostility from certain quarters. If a Conservative administration under Camerson gets into office after the next general election (2009 or 2010), then what happens to the role of PCSO/CSO is anybody’s guess. In the meantime they are part of the Police Family, and do a valuable role in the Neighbourhood Beat Teams, along with their Police Officer colleagues.

      Of course, you will get lazy PCSOs, the same as you get lazy Police Officers. Nobody is perfect, and no doubt there have been and still are cases of PCSOs not ‘pulling their weight’. This happens in all walks of life, and the Police service is no different from any other on that score.

      But to really appreciate what PCSO/CSOs do, then walk in their shoes and do shifts with them. It is oh so easy to point the finger at failures, but remember – the finger you point at somebody, there are 4 fingers pointing back at yourself!!

      It seems that certain tabloid newspapers such as the ‘Daily Heil’ (Daily Mail) keep resurrecting ‘stories’ about PCSOs. They have run the same story, virtually word for word from a story they ran several years ago. But then reporting negative stories, even if the the correct details are not actually reported, does not sell newspapers.

      (Rant over, time for bed says Zebedee!)

      January 13th, 2009 at 00:59

    31. BTP PCSO says:

      I must say I find the comments towards us PCSO’s extremely amusing, because at the end of the day it is me they are ridiculing or abusing its the job role. Everybody is within there right to voice an opinion, and who am I to say you can’t. PCSO’s are only thought of in a bad way due to how PCSO’s have acted in the past, the only thing that I can do to change the perception of the public is do what I do the best I can. 100% of the time i’m able to deal with what ever is happening.

      I’m in British Transport Police so we get more powers than the home office forces, we get Railway Byelaws and are issued with handcuffs. As long as the public see me dealing with any type of crime or anti-social behaviour then my job is done. The one thing I would like to see is a TV programme that shows what PCSO’s in the Brtish TRansport Police do, I think then people would soon change their opinion on PCSO’s. Like in all jobs there are some good and some bad people, all I can do is apologise to those who have had to put up with shitty PCSO’s and hope that one day there opinions will change when they see a decent one doing there job poperly.

      January 15th, 2009 at 19:22

    32. BTP PCSO says:

      Correction to the above, it isn’t me people people are having a go at, its the job role.

      January 15th, 2009 at 19:23

    33. Uncle Vanya says:

      Yes – I too would like to see series of factual TV programmes dealing with the BTP PCSOs and how they conduct themselves on a normal day to day shift basis along with their Officer colleagues. I often wondered why BTP PCSOs carried ‘QuickCuffs’, so now I know. Its the differences in law, Railway Byelaws which give extended powers to BTP PCSOS. Thansk for that info.

      January 16th, 2009 at 01:39

    34. Not impressed says:

      PCSO’s are NOT wanted by the general public, end of story.

      January 21st, 2009 at 12:45

    35. mickyboy says:

      “Not impressed says:

      PCSO’s are NOT wanted by the general public, end of story.!

      show us proof! and if you can’t please have a think.

      January 21st, 2009 at 18:14

    36. New PCSO says:

      As a PCSO, i think some of your comments are ridiculous. You say we are all lazy layabouts, and only half-trained etc. Do you have any idea of the gruelling process we have to undergo to get the job? It isn’t easy. How can we be so stupid when we have to have a high level of literacy skills? How can we be so lazy when we have to undergo a medical including lung capacity and BMI (we would fail if we were big, fat, lazy layabouts). Out of all the people who put us down…I bet only 1% of you would ever be good enough to get the job. No. We aren’t full officers… but we aren’t meant to be! Also, forces are now only wanting to take on full officers who HAVE BEEN PCSO’s FIRST. So yes great you want more full officers but you aren’t going to get them without getting more PCSO’s first. I’m lucky. I work in a very nice area in Oxfordshire where we don’t really get abuse because the people here have a brain and respect for others, particularly others who are LOOKING OUT FOR THEM.
      All you people putting us down…what the hell is it you do?

      January 26th, 2009 at 00:54

    37. Non PCSO says:

      It is unbelieveable that REAL coppers are stuck in the nick carrying out paperwork and these muppets are passed off as a ‘Police presence’. New PCSO, I work in the petro chemical industry, I would say the entrance requirements, educational standards and the strict medical, random drug and alcohol testing and constant monitoring we accept as a requirement to work in such a responsible job are a lot more stringent than those required to be a fake cop, so obviously I get paid accordingly. PCSO’s are useless and a complete waste of taxpayers money.

      February 5th, 2009 at 10:47

    38. mickyboy says:

      “”It is unbelievable that REAL coppers are stuck in the nick carrying out paperwork and these Muppet’s are passed off as a ‘Police presence’. New PCSO, I work in the petro chemical industry, I would say the entrance requirements, educational standards and the strict medical, random drug and alcohol testing and constant monitoring we accept as a requirement to work in such a responsible job are a lot more stringent than those required to be a fake cop, so obviously I get paid accordingly. PCSO’s are useless and a complete waste of taxpayers money.”"

      You lot are money grabbing sods

      also do you know what a PCSO as to go trough to get in?
      And PCSOs never pass themselves of as coppers you thick sod

      they are PCSOs which is another role within the police who do a good job

      February 14th, 2009 at 01:22

    39. Darren says:

      I think I’ll apply for a role as PCSO after reading all the posts here. I’ve seen them in my area, and also in the city where I worked, helping people, getting crime details, collecting evidence such as CCTV from store thefts, and generally doing some good for the communties they are working within. The abuse they recive is pretty much the same for the Police, there’s no respect to anyone in authority if you’re talking about estates where the kids have no slef esteem. But saying that I was happy to see a group of kids actually chatting to a couple of PCSO’s about the role they do, and a couple of the kids actually said they’d like the idea of going in to the force. PCSO’s make a difference, I only need to look out my window to see how good that has been.

      February 19th, 2009 at 19:32

    40. New PCSO says:

      Well i am nearly finished my PCSO training. Seriously, if you knew more about what PCSO’s did… you really wouldn’t put them down. We are the ones that feed all the intelligence into the Police.

      February 22nd, 2009 at 20:50

    41. Interested reader says:

      Bridging the gap betweent the Police and the community is an important job, especially as the Police these days have a poor relationship with the public.

      To anybody who is a PCSO, you have my respect!

      February 23rd, 2009 at 12:56

    42. Pro Police, anti PCSO. says:

      ‘Mickyboy’: Does this ‘gruelling’ process include a spelling test? I would guess the petrochemical worker is far more qualified and earns a lot more than a PCSO, by the way I am a civil engineer and I know for a fact my salary makes that of a PCSO seem pathetic, which is an apt word for these losers, I fully support the Police, they are restricted by government policy/PC (that’s political correctness by the way) ethics and hampered by the CPS, PCSOs should be scrapped, it is nothing but (pretendy) policing on the cheap, the quivalent of an Indian call centre or a cowboy plumber, if you buy ‘designer’ gear from a market stall you get better value, the public want a proper Police force not rejects in stupid hats.

      February 26th, 2009 at 21:53

    43. TC says:

      I agree that PCSOs aren’t wanted, they were forced on us by this crap government, no hopers (the government and these plastic plods), utterly,totally, completely USELESS!

      February 26th, 2009 at 21:59

    44. 200 says:

      Pro Police, anti PCSO/TC

      it’s not really fair posting two comments in different names to make it look like more people agree with your point of view, is it?

      February 26th, 2009 at 22:13

    45. Paul Grant says:

      It is probably different people, such is the public opposition to this gimmick, it’s not really fair when you hear rumours that regular Police officers are being made redundant yet more of our money is being spent on these useless plastic plods, it’s not really fair when Lincolnshire Police have to turn down the offer of a free helicopter yet waste public money on PCSOs, I support those comments, the public are being conned by this cop out (no pun intended). That’s what is ‘not really fair’.

      March 1st, 2009 at 10:55

    46. Paul Grant says:

      New PCSO/interested reader.

      It’s not really fair posting comments in two different names to justify public money being wasted while your house burglary is nothing but an insurance claim, while your City centre is plagued by drunks, while 200 claims to be a copper and can’t just shift the paperwork onto these deadheads and get out on the streets, must be waiting for promotion, diversity courses, cashing in his pension and doing the Harry Cole bit, nice non work if you can get it, call 999, PC 200 can’t be bothered to put his bacon sandwich down but we’ll send a PCSO round when PC 200 has stopped thinking about the pension and the dangers of paper clips.

      March 1st, 2009 at 20:29

    47. 200 says:

      Paul Grant,

      That’s the third different ID you’ve used to say the same thing. Why can’t you just stick to one ID rather than make out it’s lots of different people slagging off PCSOs.

      New PCSO & Intereseted reader appear to be different people; at least they have different IP addresses whereas all your posts have the same.

      Oh, and I don’t ‘claim’ to be a copper, I WAS a copper & I worked all bar the last couple of my 30 years ‘on the streets’ where the least of our worries was ‘paper clips’

      I see slagging off PCSOs is the least of your skills.

      And if you’re going to criticise people’s spelling, it makes you look like an ass when you’re own posts contain errors, sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth closed & appear stupid, than to open it and remove all doubt (viz spelling).

      March 1st, 2009 at 20:54

    48. Paul Grant says:

      ‘You’re’. your Gud at spelleng innit. n gramer n that. Anyway if a real copper is 200, is a PCSO 100 and a cardboard cut 50?

      March 2nd, 2009 at 08:41

    49. 200 says:

      That’ll be an apology for your own spelling/typos, then, you arrogant git.

      If that’s all you have to contribute, go and piss on someone else’s chips, wanker.

      March 2nd, 2009 at 17:09

    50. steve says:

      I bet 20% of people in this blog are PC’S, 20% are PCSO’S, and 60% are the average joe who is willing to hurl abuse, make un-justified comments, and have the forward thinking of a chimp sat on a very high horse!

      As pcso’s are paid by the taxpayer, they will evidently recieve critisism for theyre performance, integrity, motivation, lack of spelling capability etc. But im sure if the average member of the public who hides behind theyre desk in their nice, cosy corporate office, does the bare minimum and looks busy when the boss walks past were to be paid by the tax-payer, and leave themselves open to critisism, they would concentrate less on slagging off others and have a long, hard look at themselves.

      If they took pcso’s out of service,whats the chances people in this room would start complaining about the lack of police presence, I suppose being fickle is what the great British public are good at!

      I intend to join as a pcso, maybe that makes me a wannabe copper, maybe it means that I cant spell and am just in it for the money. Maybe it will brand me as an inadaquete drain on tax-payers money, a loser and all of the above mentioned, but at least I know that i have had the confidence to achieve my goal and make what difference I can. I only hope that the if I do make a differnce to somebody then its someone who deserves, and apprecaites the hard work il do, not some of the t**s in this blog!

      March 13th, 2009 at 12:28

    51. pcso applicant says:

      evrey ones acting like they dont need protection, no ones is superman out here..if pcso’s are so useless go protect your self from asbos, drunks, maniacs, arrogant people need to realise that were here to work for you not against you and to be honest if i get abuse from a member of the public i will slap there face thats how angry i will get!! get me

      May 7th, 2009 at 14:39

    52. Bill Gibbons says:

      Going on what I’m reading here, it sounds like more police officers from the UK might want to come here (Canada) to continue with their careers. I emigrated from the UK in 1994 before policing began to change for the worse. However, I couldn’t get into the police over here because they were not hiring white heterosexual males. Sound familiar? Now, thanks to cutting out an entire generation of white, straight males from becoming police officers, several Canadian forces are now recruiting overseas, including the UK. I’m sure you are all familiar with PC David Copperfield’s blog (Stuart Davidson) who is now serving with the Edmonton Police Service, north of my location (Calgary).

      Canada might be colder in the winter, but here you can enjoy a much better standard of living in a clean, healthy country with pretty nice people. For example, the province of Alberta is three times the size of the UK, but only has 3.5 million people. There is tons of unbelievably beautiful countryside here, and the Rocky Mountains are barely an hour from my house.

      Currently, 10% of the Calgary City Police is now made up of former British coppers, and they love it here. Even the criminals are polite, and the kids use all five fingers when they wave at you. Being a cooper in Canada is “cool” to most teens here. Unlike the all the bollocks you have to put up with back home.

      I own a growing security service here, and I am more than happy to offer employment to any PCSO, Special or serving PC until you can join the city police here. If you are at all interested in considering a change of scenery, then check the CPS website here:

      http://www.calgarypolice.ca/

      Let’s face it, when coppers are moving overseas to serve in Australia and Canada, then Blightly is in big trouble.

      May 21st, 2009 at 03:01

    53. pcso applicant says:

      I am applying to become a PCSO. yes in the long run i want to be a regular full police officer. However i strongly believe all OFFICERS should start off as PCSOs. In my area the PCSOs dont carry cuffs or battons but do have a very wide range of powers. They deal with low level crime which is great to build to convindence for new people to the force. The PCSOs in the town where i work they have done more GOOD with dealing with the local yobs than the coppers. In fact some of the PCSOs delt with some situation in a better manor than some of the officers….

      With out wishing bad things on people i hope that some of you get your self into a really sticky situation and a PCSO ends up putting his job/life on the line for you. maybe then you will respect these people a lot more.

      They do need batons and cuffs to defende them self and aid them in detaining suspects as i know of 2 pcsos that have been subject to violent attacks.

      There role is not to get involved in this kind of work however they serve the community and sometimes these situations do happen.

      May 21st, 2009 at 14:29

    54. pcso applicant says:

      May i also ad if it was not for the local PSCOs in the area i would not of even thought at doing there job and would of kept going for full time officer. Now i have been educated by these people i see what good work and development that do and achieve.

      May 21st, 2009 at 14:30

    55. ADZ the pro pcso says:

      Erm, all i’m going to say is, pcso’s generally do a good job and their presence is better than nothing.
      If i were a pcso, I would consider myself a protector of the law abiding public and would do everything I could to protect and serve.
      As mentioned, there will always be good and bad pcso’s, the same as ggood and bad pc’s.

      June 2nd, 2009 at 11:41

    56. Stephen - PCSO for 7 years so far says:

      Good site and definately full of varied comments! Having done the job so long I feel many a police officer would be amazed at what we do and what we can achieve out there. I would willingly ask anybody to come walking or pedalling with me when I am on duty. Speak to the communities of hundreds of people I actually know the names of and they know mine. I believe I have the respect from most members of the community – this includes many criminals and includes the teens – the majority of whom I believe have a bad press. I treat others like I would like to be treated. I am firm but fair. I want us all to have a better life. Some of the qualities I feel I have and use in my role have long since been forgotten by many (not all!) Police officers……Talking in a pleasant way to people, not considering everyone to be a criminal, saying “hello” to people you don’t know, not winding up people with comments you know they are likely to get angry at just so they can be locked up. Believe me I’ve seen many a calm situation turn nasty when police arrive. I’ve had many wanted persons arrested, came upon dying/deceased persons, dealt with road traffic collisions i could go on for ages and I do it all willingly and efficiently. I try to improve the areas I cover for everyone who lives, works and visits there. I think if we continue to help reduce or prevent the crimes and anti social behaviour from happening then your police officer lives will be much easier and whos going to complain about that! – don’t complain about us – walk in our shoes

      June 29th, 2009 at 23:29

    57. John says:

      Just thought I would chime in here after stumbling on this article. It is refreshing to see a Police Constable openly recognise the role and workings of PCSO’s. I for one am waiting to begin training as a PCSO not because I “Failed to be a PC” or anything like that, I am most certainly not braindead and turned down a job at a large engineering firm to do something a little different and help people at a community level rather than race from job to job and keep myself bogged down with mountains of paperwork. I am 22 years old I have my entire life to become a PC which I intend to do however when I came to my application I was informed there would be no further openings in recruitment for possibly up to a year. PCSO probation is 12 months and I see no reason why I shouldn’t do this rather than sit on my backside and wait for that length of time.

      Personally I would like to see the role of a PCSO refined and nationalised so people are not under any illusion of why we are here and what we do on a daily basis. PCSO’s don’t need a great deal of extra powers and if they have good communication skills *which they certainly should given the role) then they shouldn’t need to be constantly arresting people. If a situation arises that would be too dangerous to deal with alone or would require a sworn constable than I shall be given the equipment to contact one.

      A good idea was put to me by a member of the dog unit who I got talking to not so long back. His idea was to bring the role of a PCSO in as a probationary period for potential PC’s rather than a role of it’s own. I am sure many people could give reasons why it is not a good idea but personally I think it is great. A PCSO will have the time to really get to know people in a community which may help when he/she becomes a PC and deals with a “regular customer”, the individual may be more inclined to speak with somebody he/she spoken to before.

      I think some people need to do a little more research into the role of a PCSO before they jump on the band wagon and judge every single man and woman who does do a damn good job day in and day out to support their fellow police staff and provide support to police officers who don’t want to deal with that sort of work.

      Once again a big thankyou to the author of this article!

      July 8th, 2009 at 04:51

    58. *Pcso* says:

      Another thankyou to 200. You have written a brilliant article hopefully highlighting a few things that unfortunatly some members of the public are not yet aware of regarding the roles of PCSO’s.
      I myself am a PCSO and I can 100% say that I love my job. Admittedly I have at times found it challeging with the few powers that we do have but I have also found that all it takes is a little initiative and ‘outside the box’ thinking and any challege can be overcome. It also helps that I have a fantastic team behind me of both P.C’s and P.C.S.O’s everyone of which I know I could ask for help.
      I myself feel that our role is an important one. Issues such as neighbourhood disputes, nuisance youths and even low level crime such as shoplifting can all be dealt with quite easily by P.C.S.O’s without having to involve police officers, enabling them to deal with other issues. I have also been told on many occassions that we are invaluable when it comes to tasks such as looking for missing people as we know our areas inside out, directing traffic at accidents, dispersing nuisance youths, collecting cctv and identifying criminals, teaching children and adults about road and personal safety, visiting victims of crime and offering advice, monitoring and checking up on known offenders putting people in touch with various services, even something as simple as checking on local elderly residents who find it hard to get out and about. To those people our roles are appreciated.
      Promoting the police force is also something we have the time to do and offering our help and preventing crime rather than just dealing with the aftermath. Afterall who is to say that just from seeing us patrolling our beats hasn’t prevented someones house from being burgled!
      People seem to think that P.C.S.O’s are laughed at by youths and yes at times we probably are by some of them. But in our roles a good P.C.S.O gets to know who the local youths are and who the parents and teachers are. We work alongside the schools to deal with their behaviour and with parents. If that doesn’t work then I know for sure one of my team will be there to back me up and then the next time I ask something of that youth they can’t do enough to help me! Saying that it has very rarely ever got to that point, in our role you quickly learn what makes people react.
      Often the fact that we give the local youths our time and ask about their day, their interests and goals and offer advice and praise for things they are doing well is enough to gain their respect.
      Just because we can’t arrest people and we have no weapons it doesn’t mean we are useless. As I said previously we just have to deal with things differently and often we gain a lot of respect because of it. I know a great many people I have helped and would say that I have helped them. I love the fact that I can do a job which I feel helps the people in my community. The great bit about my role is I continue to see those same people day after day. People know us by name and feel they can tell us alot more that police officers who they have only met once. Because of this we often find out a lot more about whats going on in our areas too.

      We are not Police Officers but we do help the police and support them in their jobs. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions of the job but I don’t see why we are made out to be bad people pretending to be ‘real police’. I would like to think that we are doing our jobs to help and care for people and to make communitys safer.
      As for those of you who have had bad experiences with P.C.S.O’s I hope that you don’t tarnish us all with the same brush. In all jobs you get good and bad unfortunatly. I do think sometimes the public forget that we are still only human. We do have bad days and whilst we shouldn’t let that affect our jobs its only human nature that those bad days sometimes will. I have never met a person who could honestly say they had never made a mistake. Mistakes are how we learn though and become more experienced and so whilst someone may not have been able to help you in the future they may help many more people.
      I don’t know how long our role will remain for but I do think in todays society it is a needed one.
      I will leave it at that, there are a million more things I could say but I have a busy day tommorrow!

      (Once again thankyou to 200 for a article that made myself and proberly quite a few other P.C.S.O’s smile : ) )

      October 1st, 2009 at 23:10

    59. 200 says:

      *Pcso*,
      blimey, that’s some reply… you’re welcome.

      October 2nd, 2009 at 01:31

    60. bernard a. Gallgiuez says:

      mahirap din pala makahingi ng tulong sa inyo! tulong sana pang medical (operation for tumor) sana pero no chance. salamat nalang and may GOD BLESS YOU all there.

      October 20th, 2009 at 10:02

    61. John renshaw says:

      Pcso are the best. Fuck cops. Bunch of lazy cocks

      October 21st, 2009 at 22:17

    62. pcso&proud says:

      Thank you 200! And thank you*pcso* for your post as well which I will heartilly second!

      I have used all kinds of analogies to defend from the usual “you’re just a PCSO” comment” prefect rather than teacher, nurse not doctor etc. Sometimes it falls on deaf ears, sometimes not. I guess to my credit it the comments rarely come come from residents on my patch who see for themselves the positive changes I and my colleagues have managed to achieve over the last few years we’ve been in place.

      Sad to say but sometimes the hardest prejudice to fend off comes from some of my police colleagues. I likened it once to be being a member of an ethnic minority in 1972 – the prejudice is casual and omnipresent – and that’s even from those in neighbourhood policing. I shouldn’t be so surprised, there are those who become NBMs for the hours, but keep their tough guy response ways (doesn’t work in neighbourhood). There’s also those who join neighbourhood as the perfect place to spend two years gathering evidence etc for promotion – whatever happened to policing pledge length of tenure…?

      Sorry, back on track, thank you again for the informed opinion on PCSOs. There was nothing in the job description that said I had to save the world and bring about an end to all of society’s evils. Understandably then, it sometimes gets me down that there seems to be folk (some of which should know better) queuing up to blame me and my colleagues for not having done so. I feel a little less down after reading your posts!

      November 5th, 2009 at 10:51

    63. Bill Gibbons says:

      Going on some of the comments from serving police officers here,a PCSO is the very last job on the planet I would be willing to do. The real problem lies with the system that created the role of the PCSO in the first place. When police officers are kept busy filling out four hours worth of paperwork per crime, attending “diversity” course and expected to think act and talk like politically correct social workers, then the system has to be changed. As an ex-pat Brit now living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, I have met and spoken with many ex UK police officers now serving here. They are all unanimous in their opinion that the Labour Government ruined the modern police force (er, “service”). They loved being police officers but hated the system. And they were glad for new opportunities that allowed them to continue with their police careers elsewhere.

      Either the system has to be changed back to pre-Labour government meddling, or the PCSO’s should “support” police officers by taking care of the paperwork while police officers can get back on the beat!

      December 10th, 2009 at 17:29

    64. Cador Pendry says:

      Complete crap. The PCSO’s, through no fault of their own, are just a waste of time.

      I have been in the fortunate position to travel the length and breath of the country in the last 2.5 years and have covertly observed the opinions of the ‘man/woman on the street’ in pubs, restuarants, coffee shops, shops, airports etc etc; whilst the PCSO’s have patrolled outside these places in areas such as Yorkshire, Lancashire, the Midlands, London, Hertforshire, Devon, Surrey, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Cornwall.

      In ALL areas the story is the same….Tis a joke gone sadly rotten

      December 15th, 2009 at 12:58

    65. 200 says:

      Cador,

      your input is so totally & un believably biased as to render it worthless.
      I suspect your ACTUAL knowledge goes no further than a couple of overheard conversations in a pub. It is unbelievable that you happened upon so many conversations about PCSOs when actually most overheard conversations are more likely to be about Big brother, X-Factor & other meanlingless shite TV programmes.

      December 15th, 2009 at 17:07

    66. Scott says:

      I’m intending on joining the PCSOs when they start recruiting again and to be honest, people can slag me off as much as they like. While most of the people who will be doing the slagging, like many of the dicks that have posted comments on this site, are either on jobseekers allowance or minimum wage, I’ll be earning £17.000 plus a year.

      As for you Missy, at least those PCSOs tried to help you with your situation… I personally wouldn’t have given a shit what happend to you or your family. I’d have just nodded sympathetically, all the time thinking about what pub I was gonna be going to that weekend.

      Next… Steve the security guard… ha ha ha… Come on stevey, a respected security guard, you keep telling yourself that bud… If it makes you feel better. The security in my city get the piss ripped out of them!!! And lets face it, its not hard to be a guard! Its a 4 day course to get a SIA. My sister’s boyfriend is as thick as shit and he’s got 1! Yours is the lowest of the protective services pal. Just below a parking attendant.

      To darren Ward… Come on mate, you sure it werent you who stole that cardboard PCSO to cuddle up to in your beddy byes. Your not scared of the dark now are you steve???

      On a final note, I’d just like to thank all those tax payers who’ll pay my wages enabling me to buy a Harley… Merry Christmas ;)

      December 25th, 2009 at 23:35

    67. Steve Pendry says:

      My brother has been a PCSO for over 3 years and he knows it is a waste of time. He is still there (at the moment) as it is like ‘Car Crash TV’ he cannot take his eyes off it.

      He has moved from the sublime to the ridiculous…from Britsh Special Forces’ to British Special needs; all in under 20 years… poor sod!

      I hope he sees the light in 2010 and gets back to some proper work, away from the disfunctional plod.

      Your better than that brov!

      December 30th, 2009 at 14:24

    68. Angry wound up member of public says:

      after reading a load of the above comments not all of them I am wound up to hell about pcso’s and agree with a lot of the comments about these fake coppers.

      I live in grimsby on the bradley park estate just off the back of the nunsthorpe.

      A few weeks ago there was a major noise disturbance and also a fight to go with it when i called police to report a crime taking place and in progress i was disgrutnled to see that they sent 3 pcso’s out on foot and even then it took them about an hour to get here .

      They did nothing but speak to me take someones details and left it as that. what is then point in that ?

      I have called the police for many of problems regarding my neighbours and seen nothing done by the so called Real police officers and fake coppers (pcsos).

      people say that these fake coppers (pcsos)are around for high visibility in the local areas and to prevent crime.

      I have never seen one pcso on my estate other than the occassion mentioned above why is this because they have no powers and are scared to walk on a rough estate why is the estate rough because the police and pcsos wont get off their backsides and battle crime in this area all they are interested in is drinking tea,coffee and eating oh and wearing a uniform and carrying equipment which makes them look powerful.

      yet they refuse to come to the estate and battle crime and deal with offenders why do i pay my tax/council tax.

      its a waste of time,money and a total joke having these fake coppers do us all a favour and spend the wasted money on finding real coppers rather than plastic ones.

      I have seen pcsos riding around on bikes not on my estate but on the main road near a local police office for about 20 mins then back to the police office for a drink and to be lazy what about the remainder of their local patrol area where crimes regularly take place.

      as i said before stop wasting our money and give us real officers or get the current pcsos to do their job and patrol their whole area correctly.

      Pcsos that have posted here and what i have read from them is a total joke. why dont you all go get a proper job(this isnt aimed at pcsos in the btp but it is for the home office pcsos)

      January 4th, 2010 at 13:50

    69. 200 says:

      so you expect the police to turn up & they don’t but that’s somehow the PCSOs’ fault?

      January 4th, 2010 at 14:01

    70. Angry wound up member of public says:

      Hmm no I wasnt saying that at all 200 what I was saying is they should arrive quicker when things are reported as in progress. rather than turning up about an hour later. surely they could of got there a lot quicker considering their office is less than 20 mins from where i live and even then they didnt resolve the matter cos as soon as they left the problems started again.

      whats the point of these fake coppers.

      January 5th, 2010 at 15:41

    71. Scott says:

      Well, Angry wound up member of public… These “fake coppers” may be stationed only 20 mins from where you live and although maybe you are the most important member of your community and should be seen as a priority, I’m sure there are other people in your neighbourhood that need assistance too. The truth is, you called the “Police” and they couldn’t be arsed to come out to you, atleast these “fake coppers” bothered to show up!

      January 6th, 2010 at 18:24

    72. Holden Caulfield says:

      Over half of PCSOs go on to become PCs. The two jobs are different but there are many obvious similarities. A PCSO will learn so much that is valuable to becoming a good and effective PC. The role of PCSO varies vastly depending on the area in which they are deployed, but any PCSO worth their salt will have to develop excellent communication and negotiation skills. They will learn how to diffuse a potentially violent situation using words and not grabbing for their PPE, and they wont need to spend the rest of the day writing up the incident at the station. They’ll be back out on the beat where they belong.

      And isn’t that a cause for contention with many old-school, threatened, jurassic PCs? They didn’t join up to sit writing reports, why are the PCSOs out on patrol attending calls? PCs do a very different job today than they did 30, even 20 years ago. The force (sorry service) is different now because it serves a different country. If you don’t like it then supermarkets will always need security guards. You can pick up your right wing trashy newspapers before you clock off too.

      Anybody patrolling the streets with POLICE written on their uniform is going to get abuse from some people, PC or PCSO. It goes with the job. These gobshites tend to have boring jobs (if they have jobs at all), ugly wives or gfriends (if they’ve got either), and a total lack of self-respect. Apparently some of them also have internet connections and (would you believe it) spare time on their hands.

      Anybody reading this who is thinking of applying as PCSO, go for it. It’s a great job. And if in a year or two you want to become a PC then you’ve got the best experience you can get and you’ll shine and sparkle at the assessment centre. The PCSO role can only improve our police forces.

      January 9th, 2010 at 02:56

    73. Scott says:

      Thats a bloody great comment Caulfield! Cant say more than that!

      January 9th, 2010 at 11:47

    74. Robin says:

      PCSO’s are not part of the Police family there not recognised as POLICE nor wanted by the Police Federation. The wording POLICE community support is misleading at best THEY HAVE NO MORE POWERS THAN JOE PUBLIC and there not even close to the role of a functioning police officer because they offer NO support to police officers at best there overpaid community officers that cause more havoc than they solve.

      Most dont have the brains there born with let alone any sense of what POLICING is. The talk as if their cops but id rather put my faith in someone thats a POLICE SPECIAL than deal with a PCSO if i cop wasnt available. The majority mean well but dont listen to whats being said to them with alot just thinking whoopie I get loads of money, WHICH in my opinion is wasted and should be spent on REAL policing by real police officers.

      Half are not fit to do the job let alone be good enough to switch to REAL police officers. The next government should get rid of them stop wasting public money and those ARE actually good enough to be cops should be and the rest disbanded.

      LEAVE POLICING TO THE POLICE NOT A BUNCH OF WANNBES.

      March 19th, 2010 at 13:49

    75. Robin says:

      New PCSO says: We are the ones that feed all the intelligence into the Police.

      INTELLIGENCE FED TO THE POLICE WHO THE HELL YOU KIDDING. that really did crack my sides. 90% of PCSOs wouldnt know intelligence if it had the word wtitten all over it.

      March 19th, 2010 at 14:10

    76. 200 says:

      There speaks (Robin) someone well versed in talking out of his arse, clearly has little knowledge of the subject, you might have had a point, somewhere, but’s completely lost in incorrect, fact-less, drivel.

      March 19th, 2010 at 17:59

    77. Robin says:

      oh says 200 the all knowing police officer.

      March 19th, 2010 at 19:51

    78. Robin says:

      you blog makes me laugh your a dinosaur in a profession thats left you behind. your 200 weeks and counting till you gather dust probably never nicked anyone of significance.

      still dream on that you think you KNOW it all about being a cop. YOU KNOW SWEET FA SON.

      March 19th, 2010 at 19:53

    79. 200 says:

      Get with program, Robin, show me why I’m wrong, don’t reinforce what I’ve said about you.

      March 19th, 2010 at 19:54

    80. 200 says:

      I missed your second comment in my reply above. You just did reinforce what I originally said about you.
      What a well thought out, measured & mature response.

      Thanks for dropping by & I’m glad to have brought some merriment into your life. Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.

      March 19th, 2010 at 20:01

    81. PCSO says:

      I am a PCSO and do want to progress to become a police officer. I must say the PCSO role is difficult. I am very capable as are my colleagues at many skills of a police officer. I have been in a situation a police officer would have been in numerous times. I am skilled at writing statements seizing evidence, submitting intelligence and dealing with all sorts of crimes. I do not arrest, however that is only a small part of policing. I agree however that forces have employed alot of idiots who will never be police officers and find the role of a PCSO difficult. PCSOs are sick of lack of respect from people in and outside the force, we deal with alot of problems which may not be important to people on this blog but are to other members of the community. For example, kids sitting on a wall every night outside an elderly ladys house. This can have a massive affect on this lady quality of life. Is she going to call 999? No but a PCSO can go and sort it out. I agree the role should change to deal with criminal offences more efficiently however i do a valuable job on the little estate where i work and truly believe that i improve quality of life to many people.
      Also it is difficult as you find your self in a confrontational situation, fights start and threats fly about. You have no batton, spray or cuffs yet you are expected to deal with the situation with little training, i would say thats harder than when your in a police officer uniform, so give us all a break!!!!

      March 24th, 2010 at 11:47

    82. Kevin says:

      I am truly pleased with the PCSO s.They seems to be on the beat most of the time and ever since they have been there on the streets,decanning drunks, very little of these drunks are seen in my area.Also they are keeping an eye on the young unruly school kids.I am pleased with them and people who moan about them are criminals,anti socials who wants to have the street to themselves and the regular officers who find them threatening.As a Conservative all my life expect my party to support them.

      April 6th, 2010 at 19:18

    83. paul says:

      Well, i am a serving PCSO and no i don’t want to be a police officer. You bang on about us not being worth our salt on the street, and that we have made no difference in the low level crime statistics. Well that’s not what i am being told when i knock on my residents doors doing surveys on the area and how the police are tackling crime. One thing i do hear is that they NEVER see a police officer walking anymore and they don’t know who their local officer is (but they see and know the PCSO’s) Area officers don’t walk on the beats anymore, it’s a panda or sit in the station. Without the PCSO’s there would be no uniform presence on foot and that’s a fact. As for pay, i find it offensive you call PCSO’s over paid for what they do yet a police officer earns over £500 a month more than a soldier on the front line in afghan (they are the real heroes) I am not here for the police officer, i don’t have much time for a lot of them (don’t get me wrong, i know many a good bobbie) i am here for the residents and want to make a difference.

      May 5th, 2010 at 16:06

    84. draken says:

      When I applied to work for the constabulary, I had the option of becoming a PCSO and a regular as the recruitment drives were at the same time. Thinking about what could lay ahead (i.e. if it was the right job for me in the future etc) I decided to become a PCSO. If I enjoyed the role, I could always apply to become a regular. If Im completely honest, I cant believe some of the comments that have been written on this forum. PCSOs came about to work as part of a Neighbourhood team if Im not mistaken, each ward having a PC and several localities having a ward co-ordinator. So each area (some being the size of a hamlet, others being the size of a small town) would have one police officer, 2 absolute max. So how on earth is this Police officer supposed cover the whole of their ward on foot, every day for 80% percent of their time, gather intelligence, attend pledge priority meetings, getting process i.e. stops, vdrs, arrests, attend court, and provide a visable reassurance to the members of the area they cover, so that the public can see how their tax money is being spent. Thats without all the jobs that spring up, nuisance youth logs, drugs warrants, PDR completion times (which Ive seen people in an office for 2 days solid, completing) and visiting their local councillors, councils, antisocial behaviour teams etc. If there is a Police officer on this forum on here that does all that by themselves all week, every week, I will take my hat off now and congratulate you on being full of shit. We have been described as being overpaid neighbourhood watch amongst other things, I find the people that have made these comments as ignorant. If we are such a waste of time, why is it that PCSOs (where I work) manage Police officers workloads, maintain the visibility that is required (i.e walking for 6 hours everyday, cant remember the last time I saw a Police Officer do that!) and deal with basically with all the jobs that are either not glam enough for the Police Officers to deal with, or something that may lead to them being tucked up in custody for 6 hours, thus getting intervention to deal (ive seen this soooo many times). The fact that Police officers Portray us a lazy, powerless wannabes I find laughable as after about a year of working as one, the vast majority of PCSOs would never dream of doing the Police Officers role for loads of reasons. As we are powerless and dont carry cuffs, pava or taser, we arent deemed as worthy i suppose. Where I work, we have had a PCSO detaining a male with dual personality schizophrenia who was on drugs and alcohol and attempting to set him on fire after he was doused in lighter fluid. Another colleague was temporarily paralysed after an error by a police officer lead to him being impaled on a metal railing and needing a difib to ensure he was alive and well. A PCSO having his achillees tendon snapped after being run down by a shoplifter making off in a stolen vehicle. A PCSO having his marked Police vehicle attempted to be rammmed by a 34 tonne lorry with a stolen skip on the rear, aswell as a 5ft 5″ size 8 female PCSO detaining a male making off who was in posession of a pistol. There is no way on earth that these guys are the type of people that play intervention wannabees. These brave guys are the guys that control room call up for to help assist with these jobs as the neighbourhood team Police officers who are on shift, somehow dont manage to hear their radios (even though they are all status 12 with the volume turned up so other officers in the office can hear whats on their radio ear piece) and intervention are all tied up in custody. Im not going to say PCSOs are wonderful and all black shirts are shit because thats simply not true (I have several black shirted friends who are great coppers). What I will say to all these people that have beef with us PCSOs, Go out for a week with your PCSO, on foot, see how many people actually say hello on the streets to them, see just how much intel is actually gathered and how far they go on foot, see how much they can tell you about local nominals or problem hotspots, aswell as the work they actually do for their Police officers i.e. cctv collections etc. Maybe you might learn a few things. Like the majority of PCSOs dont actually attempt to be Police officers or pretend to be, and also you might just actually see those people for who they really are and see that they actually give a shit. Where I work, the PCSOs do a shed load more work than their police officers do and thats not right and not fair. Not right because we all have different remits, and not fair for the black shirts who actually take pride and give a shit about the area they are responsible for.

      May 5th, 2010 at 22:41

    85. JM2010 says:

      How would you feel if gangs of 20 or so youths were hanging around outside in your street every night shouting, swearing, littering, vandalising property and setting off fireworks and the response you got from your PCSO was “well there is nothing for the kids to do around here”.

      May 27th, 2010 at 10:26

    86. JM2010 says:

      Read the post made by Scott on December 25th, 2009 at 11:35 pm.

      I think it’s prats like this who give dedicated PCSO’s a bad name.

      May 27th, 2010 at 11:09

    87. Daz says:

      Ive been a PCSO for six years. I have apprehended burglars, persons with drugs and even had a gun aimed at me, to name but a few things. Like people have already pointed out on this site there is some lazy PCSOs out there and also PCs. Its not our fault about the powers we have its the homeoffice who designed us. I wish you would all stop slagging us off and think to yourselves could i have done it better/ Can i do their job ? When the bombs went off in London we were all drafted in to help the public, the community, i didnt hear any moaning then.We are not there to take crime reports we are a visible and reasurring prescence. If you dont like us thats ok, but think of it this way, if you dont see a proper coper on the street who would you see ? We do have comms with the call rooms and assistance is only a few minutes away

      June 15th, 2010 at 10:23

    88. AshleighDell says:

      Some posts make me laugh, how the hell do some of you get off slagging pcso’s of when you have no clue what they do I work with pcso’s and yes you do get the ones that are a waste of space and shouldn’t be in the role, but there are a few on my team that I trust alot more than some I’ve had by my side in a white shirt! They are human and deal with public abuse and internal abuse from police officers, it’s not right!
      For example a female pcso, that I work with was on street patrol and noticed an abandoned vehicle in a car park she did checks on the car and it was found to be stolen over 200 miles away when the vehicle was recovered it turned out that a police force from over 100 miles away were searching for this car for over 2 months because it was involved in a serious kidnapping of a mother and a child by a drug dealer! Since the PCSO had found the car forensics were able to examine the vehicle and traced the suspect from DNA found in the car…he was later found guilty and sent to prison for 4 years!
      So tell me how they are a waste of money and space.
      If It wasn’t for this PCSO a dangerous male would still be free sealing drugs and getting away with kidnaping! But then again you publicans don’t no anything, apart from all the negative you hear in the press and what u see in the papers. I am proud to work alongside some of the pcso’s on my team. If you lot have a problem like serious harassment from someone in your street then call 999 and ask for the police, actually better yet ask for a PC don’t get pissed of when a pcso comes to your door to TRY and help at least they can turn up the same day, in some cases it could take hours or maybe days before a PC becomes free to come see u at your house!

      People have NO clue what pcso’s have to deal with! It’s a tough job, when done by the right person.

      October 9th, 2010 at 03:09

    89. sb says:

      I would like to praise pcso’s. I find them very friendly,approachable and helpful and they seem to be doing a fantastic job in creating a presence in the area. There are alot of local people to me who are very happy knowing that they are there when needed and will listen to their concerns.
      They go out of their way to try to make sure that we feel secure in our neighbourhood.
      There are people in my area who have had alot of help from them, including myself, regarding traffic issues, antisocial behaviour and criminal damage.
      In particular, they are there at a local level and can nip things in the bud especially with younger people who would then possibly go on to ‘bigger things’.
      As has been said, they should not be compared to pc’s, their job is different, but just as important.
      I think they do an excellent job and should be given the respect they deserve.

      August 3rd, 2011 at 09:58

    90. Another PCSO says:

      I am a serving PCSO and have been for 5 years and I have stumbled upon this article and decided to add my views although I think it will fall on deaf ears and eyes as narrow-minded people continue to exist in this world.

      What I think is the most distressing is the fact that all the PCSO’s that I work with are hardworking and caring about the job they do. This is a lot more I can say for some of the officers I have to work with who are more than happy to come up with excuses for attending jobs because they appear too “minor” or simply drive around ignoring problems because they can get away with doing less and recieving the same pay as thoes who dont.

      Do people really think that if PCSO’s were scrapped they’d get a better service? I am pretty sure that for the years leading up to the introduction of PCSO’s people got a pretty piss poor service before which if i do remember rightly, it was getting worse; you want to know why? Court, the demand for “positive figures”, idiots who make up some small percentage of the public who are never willing to give them a go in the first place or ones who will take a lawsuit out at the first opportunity to pay for their next holiday. All of these will increase unnecessary paperwork and decrease the willingness to take on longwinded investigations which are unlikely to get a positive result.

      However, here comes the PCSO who is not monitored on such who is willing to take the time to listen to your complaint and deal with it, even if its minor, and so what if they need to get a police officer in the end, because if it wasn’t for the PCSO you probably wouldn’t get anyone at all. (as already mentioned by the authors details about the cartoon), although in my county I would have the power to detain OR arrest in those circumstances and the whole cartoon is a meaningless image produced by someone who clearly has too much time on his or her hands.

      As usual people cant be bothered to take on the real issues in their neighbourhoods which are the worthless leachers who dont pay into society and steal and mug people for fun or to pay for their habits.
      You know what, good luck to them because it looks like we have a population who deserve to get robbed if they are willing to turn a blind eye to it and instead try and slag off the people who have at least decided to make an effort to help people “on the cheap”.

      I hope that for every person who thinks we are a waste of time they get their houses screwed over. Then when the PCSO’s who used to care now dont care and decide not to bother doing the house to house. Then the vital bit of information which could have seen an offender caught to justice is missed because their neighbours are just as inconsiderate and caring about the community as the people who slag us off.

      Tell you what, YOU go all make a difference if your so bloody clever, brave and amazing, you approach the 20 kids in the dark on your own, wrestle with wanted criminals with no protection, gather information, seize drugs off the street, educate young people etc etc. FOR FREE I’ll stand back and tell you how useless you are and we will see how long you do it for.

      I ask the people who write in this forum who are not PCSO’s to ask themselves how perfect their job is (if they have one), I suppose none of you *insert jobnames* have ever got something wrong. Think PC’s are immune? ask the ones who have been caught drink driving, with class A and B drugs etc etc..

      When the shit hits the fan dont start asking “where’s the help?” cos you had it and you took it for granted now its out of control because it was allowed to. A majority of crime is committed by the same 1% of people (not a fact but a figure of speech), its the police’s job to catch and manage these people. They will eventually die, its okay, but hopefully,the PCSO’s would have stopped another generation falling into the same trap their elders did with intervention and education in schools and on the streets and crime will reduce. Its a shame that they prob wont get the chance to see if they really can make a difference.

      Well done to all the PCSO’s who are serving, have served or are going to serve for all the crap they have to overcome.

      Good luck to you all, PCSO and non-carer alike.

      August 18th, 2011 at 20:59

    91. stan says:

      Its a shame you dont all stop behaving like children slaging each other off and go and do the jobs you were paid for you are lucky to have one.

      September 16th, 2012 at 10:13

    92. JohnE says:

      Thank God here in Australia we have not succumbed to PCSOs. UK should not have gone down that road. I would like to see how busy the UK internal affairs units in each force are??? It’s either real police or none.

      December 6th, 2013 at 14:41

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