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Community Support officers. Are they value for money?

slim

War Hero
At first I thought that the community support officer was a cheap and sensible method of enforcing the law. However it would seem that this is not really the case. On paper a CSO (community support officer) salary is about half of a police constables. Unfortunately you never see just one CSO, they operate in pairs. This coupled with their lack of powers of arrest (yes I know that anyone can make a citizens arrest) takes away any financial savings.
Could it be that instead of having 20 plastic policemen (CSOs) in an area it would be wiser to recruit 10 beat bobbies who can patrol on their own and should be a more effective deterrent?
It would be interesting to hear what serving and ex serving police officers have to say on CSOs
 

stumpy

War Hero
I know that they get a bad press but our local ones are excellent. This is precisely because their powers are limited, means that they concentrate on walking the streets, whereas the normal police are too busy being used elsewhere. This type of policing is vital, and ours really have their finger on the pulse of the streets. It also attracts a different type of person, not everyone wants to be doing paperwork/chasing criminals.

I know it depends on personalities (as in any job) but ours are excellent, and one in particular has shown personal courage in doing her job. And no, they do not always operate in pairs.
 

nutty_bag

War Hero
stumpy said:
I know that they get a bad press but our local ones are excellent. This is precisely because their powers are limited, means that they concentrate on walking the streets, whereas the normal police are too busy being used elsewhere. This type of policing is vital, and ours really have their finger on the pulse of the streets. It also attracts a different type of person, not everyone wants to be doing paperwork/chasing criminals.

I know it depends on personalities (as in any job) but ours are excellent, and one in particular has shown personal courage in doing her job. And no, they do not always operate in pairs.

Saw one about an hour ago operating on his own in town!!
 

RoofRat

War Hero
Answer to the original question, No.
Why can't they be employed in Police Stations doing the paper work for the real Bobbies after making a nicking, so that the the real one's can get back out on the beat?

RoofRat
 

slim

War Hero
RoofRat said:
Answer to the original question, No.
Why can't they be employed in Police Stations doing the paper work for the real Bobbies after making a nicking, so that the the real one's can get back out on the beat?

RoofRat

I think that you may find that many of them lack the educational ability to complete the paperwork correctly. It would probably mean even more cases being thrown out of court because the paperwork had not been completed correctly.
 

the_matelot

War Hero
Moderator
Let's face it. PCSO's are people who couldn't pass the entrance tests to become Police Officers.

They get paid £25k a year in London and judging by some of the skip lickers I've seen about, I wouldn't trust them with crayons.
 

jpl_75

Badgeman
An Estate in my area had more than its fair share of strife, with anti social behaviour, and gangs of Yobs.
This I am pleased to say is now at a minimum, mainly down to Community Support Officers patrolling on a very regular basis and at different times, also community meetings are now regular events with PSOs in attendance.
In my book used properly, It certainly helps.
 

RoofRat

War Hero
Slim I came to exactly the same conclusion after uploading my reply.
The one we have here abouts, is a real "Space Hopper" (fat bird) she is always in a nutty shop or chippo after scran :lol: So in that sense she is a community support officer......................
RoofRat
 
Of course they are. As long as they are employed to hand out parking tickets and other coffer swelling projects.

The scumbags of today have no respect for Mr Plod never mind a glorified traffic warden.

But respect does not fight crime eyes and ears on the beat does. As long as they look the part and are not three foot six like the few in the old town are.

Ireland is looking and watching and wondering if this is value for money etc. So watch this space.
 

stumpy

War Hero
the_matelot said:
Let's face it. PCSO's are people who couldn't pass the entrance tests to become Police Officers.

They get paid £25k a year in London and judging by some of the skip lickers I've seen about, I wouldn't trust them with crayons.

I am sure that some are, but many want to be PCSOs and not Police Officers, as they are different jobs. Precisely because they do not have powers of arrest means that they can have a different relationship with the people on the street, and people will tell them things that they will not tell a policeman.

If you are comparing them with a policeman you are not comparing like for like.
 
The one we have up here is great, gets involved in all sorts of things, and at times seems to get better results than Mr Plod.
 
I originally liked the idea of PCSOs (or PCOS as i keep going to say), until i saw that nauseating wench on that airport program, er, Airport. Jesus, was there ever a more useless person. The traffic wardens used to get more stuck in than she did.

My other half's best friend really wants to be a police officer (he used to be a Special), but the force isn't recruiting white men right now. Only ethnic women. Seriously. So he's trying to get his foot in the door by being a PCSO. I think the idea of them is good, i see a few of them around. A police presence is always welcome around here. By the law abiding, i mean.
 

buster

Banned
My other half's best friend really wants to be a police officer (he used to be a Special), but the force isn't recruiting white men right now. Only ethnic women. Seriously. So he's trying to get his foot in the door by being a PCSO. I think the idea of them is good, i see a few of them around. A police presence is always welcome around here. By the law abiding, i mean.[/quote]
true - the best way to get in any of the police forces is to tick the boxes.
female/ethnic/gay/disabled - if you can tick all 4, the sky's the limit, allegedly.
 

Brains

Lantern Swinger
I completely agree with Stumpy. PCSOs have made a real difference where I live precisely because they have a narrow remit to concentrate on the 'minor' issues that police officers have somewhere below the bottom of their priority list.
Our PCSOs have sorted out a bunch of problem teenagers who were dealing drugs and nicking phones in our area; they have reduced the instances of dumping everything from beds to vans and when something is dumped they sort out its removal; they have been targetting an area not far from me to stop kerbcrawling and they maintain a regular, visible presence on our streets.
They are excellent at asking our community what we want them to focus on, and at keeping us informed of progress. I also like the fact that they give us a mobile phone number on which we can contact them.

My area is definitely better off for having PCSOs. They are freeing up time for police officers because we know what the PCSOs can do for us and how to contact them, so I'm sure police officers are being less 'bothered' by some of these smaller issues.
 
In our very rural area our 1 CSO has had a very significant impact. He's out and about talking to the youngsters on the streets - liasing with the community etc and knows what is going on. This was what the police used to do in the good old days but no longer can. I think how effective they can be depends on the person and the area in which they operate.
 
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