PCSOs are uniformed civilians with a specialised set of legal powers. They work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in communities. Their main role is to patrol on foot, ensuring a highly visible presence on the streets. They work with other organisations (such as the local councils and housing associations) to tackle issues of local concern, focusing on lower-level crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour and working on projects to address longer-term crime problems.
Typical duties for a PCSO include:
Patrolling on foot or bicycle in all weathers, developing relationships with everyone in the local area and collecting information (we call it intelligence) about what is happening in the local community.
Dealing with minor offences and investigating low-level crimes. Conduct house-to-house enquiries.
Guarding a crime scene.
Visiting schools, community groups and other locations to provide advice to residents.
Tackling anti-social behaviour.
Meeting with partner organisations to discuss local problems and develop longer-term solutions.
PCSOs have a range of legal powers to help them in their roles. However, here in Derbyshire they do not have the powers of a police officer to detain people or take them into custody so there will be times when the back-up of a police officer colleague is needed.
What makes a good PCSO?
People who have a real commitment to helping and supporting their local community, and people who are interested in people and want to know what’s going on in the local area.
Perhaps you have a background in social work or housing, or have volunteered with a community organisation or charity? Maybe you’re concerned about problems you see in your local area, about opportunities for young people and about creating a safe environment for everyone? Whilst there is a legal and enforcement element to the role, and you will have legal powers you can use, people who can develop good working relationships with a wide range of people and with other organisations make good PCSOs.
We particularly welcome applications from black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates as this group is under represented within our organisation. It’s a priority for us to have a workforce which reflects the communities we serve.
See our page on Positive Action for details of the support we can provide or follow the Valuing People Valuing Difference team on Twitter.