Blast From the Past

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Two Tier Policing?

The topic of PCSO's is a controversial topic with many good reasons and many bad ones in regards their introduction. There is currently a huge drive to recruit PCSO's in many forces: The Met, Lancashire, BTP, and well, even Scroatsville Police Force! So much emphasis is on recruitment at the moment for PCSO's that in Scroatsville, specials intakes have been put on hold, and regulars intakes have been cut down to only a few a year, and even then not that many on each one.

Is this the answer to crime? Is this the governments solution to problems - by putting "officers" (note: not police officers) onto the streets.

One news story even says that PCSO's are not effective! However it does go on to say that residents of communitys feel safer by their presence. Well, at least that is something then!
(Granted, having a few is a good idea, I know a couple who do a great job, but also know some who are useless!)
So, what can PCSO's do?

PCSOs do not have powers of arrest, cannot interview or process prisoners, cannot investigate crime and do not carry out the more complex and high-risk tasks that police officers perform.

PCSOs spend much of their time on foot patrol, and are a visible, anti-crime presence in communities throughout England and Wales. Because they are so visible, members of the public feel comfortable approaching them with questions or worries about anti-social behaviour or crime.

In Scroatsville, they get paid up to £22,000 per year.

The latest government craze is "neighbourhood policing" and in Scroatsville, we are also adopting these (well, we have to!)

Each team consists of 1 Sergeant, 2/3 PC's, 4/6 Specials, and about 4/6 PCSO's. (Lots of debate about specials joining these teams in Scroatsville at the moment - but will save that for another time!)

So, here it is, my masterplan to avoid a two tier police system which many believes will happen.

1) Get rid of PCSO's
2) Use that money to get regular police officers
Ah, but what about the community based aspect?? I hear you cry!!

Simple solution, which is absolutely brilliant!

Have dedicated "Community Beat Officers". Several per area and they are dedicated to that area! Brilliant idea!

Oh hang on, we have this now.


Stan Still said...

By nest year, my force aim to have over 1200 PCSOs. When you compare that with the number of officers who are (theoretically) assigned to a patrol function, it is a huge proportion.

I walked through the big city the other day and saw loads of PCSOs and very few bobbies. The only slight problem was that the PCSOs go around in pairs (or threes on occasions!!!) whereas bobbies patrol alone.

Where's the benefit in double (or triple) crewing PCSOs? If each one costs £22k, that's £44,000 worth of PCSO walking the street. That's more than a Chief Inspector gets and at least some of them still know their powers of arrest and the caution!

Stan Still said...

For "nest" - read "next"

Shouldn't drink too much vino tinto in the afternoon, it causes spolling irrors

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Well, on the other hand you get the prize for quickest comment! I cant comment on spelling - I usually have to re-read my blogs and still end up editing spelling mistakes!

Anonymous said...

People feel safe if there is some sort of Police-related uniform nearby, no matter who is wearing it. I have seen proper POlice uniforms inhabited by cowards and useless muppets, and PCSO uniforms worn by quiet heroes.

It is the uniform that makes people feel safe, not the contents.

frhe sjgg said...

your master plan seems to make sense to me !
A cop without power isn't a cop -- no matter how much they are 'community friendly' in terms of public realtions for the departments.

Be Safe Out There.

Anne Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

just happened across these blogs ad s a consequence of buying and reading " Wasting Police Time".I've been a special for nine years and I like to think a good one. Unfortunately I am past the age when I can be considered a regular recruit, though I can still cut the mustard. Rather than give of my time freely any more I have decided to apply for PCSO

ExtraSpecialCopper said...

Thats good to hear that you still dedicate yourself to the police service.
PCSO's do a good job, however, all I hope for is that the government doesnt go overkill and ruin the aim of pcso's (and thus cause a two tier system)

Anonymous said...

I am a Community Beat Officer...1 of 3 in our area and we all had to apply and be interviewed to get these posts. We have been told that just one of us will remain on this beat and that we have to apply for this position of NSO. This role will be the beat manager and responsible for 4 PCSO's which ultimately means that you would spend all day going from meeting to meeting and writing reports and PCSO PDR's. What would the public think if they knew that their 3 police officers on the streets are being replaced by 4 PCSO's oh and a police officer stuck in an office!!!!! And you're wondering what will happen to the 2 other CBO's who will have lost the jobs they applied for and earned...... they'll be put in the worst areas that no-one wants to work in!!! I think that we're fast becoming the bottom tier!!!!

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