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Enhanced powers for police and community support officers in Lichfield and Burntwood

Lichfield and Burntwood’s police’s community support officers are to be given enhanced powers to tackle minor crime and anti-social behaviour.

Staffordshire Police said the changes would be made following a review of PCSOs.

As a result, they have been given responsibility for dealing with all complaints of anti-social behaviour, as well as other low level offences which impact on local communities.

The force said it hoped the move would free up officers to tackle other crimes.

Chief Inspector Mark Smith said: “PCSOs work within each of the neighbourhood policing teams across the force. Their day-today duties include high visibility patrols, tackling anti social behaviour, dealing with minor offences, as well as adopting a problem solving approach.

“PCSOs can now also drive marked police vehicles as a form of transport to increase their capability to cover a wider area and attend road traffic collisions to support regular colleagues as well as directing traffic and supporting frontline policing.

“But one of their main roles is being part of the community, where they can get to know people, spend time listening to their concerns and providing a reassuring presence as well as being a uniformed deterrent in crime hot spots and gathering local intelligence.”

PCSOs are not warranted officers, so they don’t have the same powers as police officers. They cannot arrest people, but they can issue fines, disperse groups and take personal details.

Ch Insp Smith added: “PCSOs are a huge part of neighbourhood policing and their role is to provide a vital and strong link with all local neighbourhoods.

“Many of our staff have strong links with local schools and colleges, as well as regular drop in surgeries at community centres and hubs across their patches.

“They are often the first point of contact between police and the public and a link with our most vulnerable families who come into regular contact with police and partners.”.

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5 Comments

  1. Plod.

    22nd April, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    More cost saving. We need more police officers, not PCSOs who (outside of common law) have no legal authority to detain or arrest. This is ineffective policing on the cheap.

  2. Darryl Godden

    22nd April, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Nothing replaces a warranted constable.

    This exercise in policing on the cheap, which isn’t just about PCSOs but Street Watch, currently being trialled in Birmingham, is policing on the dangerous.

    There’s a reason that police officers have gone from white shirts, ties, Haitt’s 1960 pattern cuffs and a truncheon pocket to PAVA, speed-cuffs, stab vest, Taser and BWV, policing has changed and civilians in high-viz isn’t going to solve it.

  3. Plod.

    23rd April, 2019 at 11:04 am

    Darryl – well said and i couldn’t agree more. Absolutely nothing against PCSOs, but they are toothless tigers with virtually the same powers as members of the public. Sticking them in a hi vis with pseudo police branding does not in any way make them a PC. They’re merely security guards? They have less power and authority than immigration officers ffs! And what we need is warranted police on the beat.

  4. H

    23rd April, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Just scrap the PSCO scheme and turn them into real officers!

  5. Burntwood Bloke

    24th April, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Seeing a PCSO driving a Kia Picanto with cheap stickers on the front does nothing but cause laughter with local youths.

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