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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.
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“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.”.