January 24th, 2008


Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

This post won’t endear me to the PCSO-slagging brigade, so if you’re one of them, look away now. 

PCSO Hussain is worth his weight in gold, at least he was this week.

I’m on lates and it’s been a busy week so far. On a good day we have half-a-dozen police units to deploy. If there’s a major incident on the go you might lose two of those for scene guarding or running enquiries/little follow-on jobs. The division has arrest targets. If the targets are down then they’re expected to go out and do arrest enquiries from the list of current wanted people. You could lose two units to arrest enquiries, most of which will be negative. Of the two units left, one might have a pre-arranged interview to conduct while the other might need to do urgent paperwork.

The above has happened more than one day this week. This leaves us with zero units to deal with all the jobs which are still on the box from the early turn, and the day before and the day before and probably the day before that as well. And that’s not to even mention all the new jobs which will come in over the next ten hours. This usually means that most of the jobs go ignored & only the new immediates get assigned. I end up ringing back the same people I rang back yesterday apologising for not being able to send someone round, yet again.

PCSO Hussein helps me out. He spends the next 8 hours going from job to job. Most of them are low level disorder by the youths who are let loose to terrorise the neighbourhoods by parents who don’t give a toss. "Any unit free for kids chucking stones at the old folks flats?" is usually met by a response from PCSO Hussein along the lines of "If you can’t find anyone for that we’ll do it after our current job". He (and his two colleagues) take most of the jobs which come in during the shift. These are jobs which many police patrols don’t like doing because there’s not enough excitement in them, they can’t use their blues & twos, and there is no recordable result. Unfortunately, telling a bunch of semi-drunken, illiterate yobs to fuck off somewhere else doesn’t tick any boxes in the ‘sanctioned detections’ stats, unless they can talk the job up to include a Secction 5 Public Order act fixed penalty ticket, which they can’t in most cases.

PCSO Hussein knows most of the yobs, he’s also met their parents over the last couple of years. Some of the kids take the piss out of him, I’m sure, but a lot don’t and at least he gets jobs off the box, which is all the control room supervisors care about. He also takes the time to go and speak with the victim. A lot of police officers don’t bother, they don’t like taking the flak for failing to solve a problem which society has neglected to solve, sometimes they drive off and when asked if they’ve seen the informant or victim they say they’re now miles away and would we mind ringing them to give them the bad news. If we’ve got time I do but only because I’ve been there and I know the feeling. (of the officer). PCSO Hussein visits his informants or victims without being asked.

It’s not until I’m getting to the end of the shift that I realise PCSO Hussein hasn’t had a break all shift. It’s not just the PCs who are running about.

PCSO Hussein won’t get any thanks or recognition for his efforts, certainly off the rest of the shift and probably from anyone who hasn’t seen what he’s been doing for the last 8 hours or more. I’ll send an email to his supervisor though. I appreciate his assistance today, and I might need it again in the near future.


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  1. mark b says:


    My dad did your job for 35 years. He knew the decent people as well. He still meets them for a big night out. He retired as a PC back in 96. He wasn’t interested in promotion
    He was on the beat for 25 years until Mum told him he was to old to deal with them all and suggested he went back to Canon row if he could get back in. He spent his last years at the POW in SO17. He is still around and watching points in boozers now. Once a policeman always a policeman!

    When he retired he worked for the goverment car service for 5 years

    Your wit and language is much better than the dross that the papers can come up with. Maybe you should persue a career in writing.

    When you retire have your do at The Warren


    January 25th, 2008 at 21:33

  2. PC forever says:

    It’s not the people, it the position. Many PCSO’s are fantastic, hampered only by being a PCSO. I do fel sorry for them because they are as visible as us but have no powers to deal. I’d prefer police in the streets and i don’t think it is right to put police on patrol with a PCSO.

    February 2nd, 2008 at 08:42

  3. Juice says:

    “It’s not until I’m getting to the end of the shift that I realise PCSO Hussein hasn’t had a break all shift.”

    Crikey! Almost like the private sector! You’ll be doing unpaid overtime next!

    March 6th, 2008 at 10:21

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