Here are list five things you need to know about being a PCSO.
PCSO stands for Police Community Support Officer. It is different to being a warranted Police Officer, and is a job in its own right. Some PCSOs do use the role as a stepping stone to becoming a regular Officer, but many more make it their long-term career.
Although PCSOs do not have the power of arrest, they can detain people when necessary. As a PCSO you also have designated powers surrounding anti-social behaviour, tobacco and alcohol, transport and fixed penalty notices, for example.
PCSOs are paid members of police staff. A PCSO earns £21,135 as a trainee, rising to £23,406 with experience. You will also be paid extra for shift allowance and weekend working. You can expect your salary to go up from the entry level each year, if you can demonstrate good performance.
As a PCSO you’ll work 37 hours a week, usually in eight hour shifts. Depending on your shift pattern your start time will vary. “Early” shifts usually start at 8am and “lates” at 3pm – although because we adapt to community needs, it can vary with location. Annual leave entitlement is 24 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after five years service. And of course you’re entitled to the statutory public holidays.
Over the last year, nine PCSOs have received commendations from the Chief Constable for a range of activity including: community engagement, dealing with suicide attempts, detaining suspects, giving life-saving aid and supporting a blackmail investigation. PCSOs have also been recognised in the Force’s Annual Awards for their compassion, inspirational behaviour and courage.