PCSOs were introduced in London in 2002. The intention? To provide the city with an increased visible police presence and to enable regular police officers to make more effective use of their specialist skills - tackling crime and making communities safer.
The role of the PCSO
Broadly speaking, there are four different kinds of roles for London's PCSOs, all based on relating with the community and providing a reassuring visible presence:
- Safer Neighbourhoods role (focusing on crime and anti-social behaviour)
- Safer Transport role (dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour on buses)
- Traffic PCSO (dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour on buses and the free flow of traffic)
- Station PCSO (carrying out initial investigation and recording of crime)
What will I get involved in each day?
PCSOs generally perform routine duties, assisting and supporting police officers, gathering intelligence, carrying out security patrols and, through their presence alone, reassuring the public. Where possible, they also attend to matters not requiring police powers.
Depending on which role you take, you could be trained and called upon to do any number of tasks, including:
- Providing support at ceremonial and special events
- Responding to major incidents and security alerts
- Making house-to-house enquiries
- Directing traffic, removing vehicles
- Issuing fixed penalty notices
Do I have a say in where and when I work?
You can apply to work full-time, part-time, as part of a job share, or seasonally, depending on your circumstances. However, when it comes to agreeing any individual flexible working requests, priority is given to operational and business needs. And while you will ultimately be posted wherever you’re most needed, your location preferences will always be taken into account when considering where to place you.