all in the day of a PCSO ...
dizzy: brown belt of the PCSO world! * interview V *
introduction: in early 2005, dizzy a karate wielding family girl with a big heart, became a PCSO. Here is her interview
dizzy: hello good morning [VERY BRIGHT AND BREEZY]
falkor: good morning to you
falkor: bright and early
dizzy: I thought I'd better be on time
falkor: thank you very much, how are you?
dizzy: I'm not too bad
falkor: have you been doing any karate?
dizzy: it was a grading yesterday, but I didn't grade - but yes I'm still doing it
falkor: you can look after yourself
dizzy: only a little
falkor: have you ever used it?
dizzy: no and I wouldn't
dizzy: because you would have to be REALLY REALLY good to be any good at all
falkor: yes and that's what I think about Officer Safety Training Dizzy
falkor: it's the same thing isn't it?
dizzy: yes you have to have it in your brain completely, for anything to be any good
falkor: what do you think of Officer Safety Training anyway?
dizzy: it's better than nothing
dizzy: the holds they show you, if you needed them they would work - at least you've got an idea of what would work by going to 'officer safety'
falkor: you go every 6 months?
dizzy: yes you go every 6 months - I've had 4 sessions - I've had my correct quota
falkor: you've had your correct quota? other people haven't?
dizzy: I'm only reading the website and reading the website tells you. I think in the MET all of us do have the correct quota
falkor: what is it that you actually do anyway?
dizzy: starting off with the warm up, then onto attacking the large rubber man in different areas
falkor: the PCSOs do that?
dizzy: oh yeah we have to attack the large rubber man and then we kick him and do palm strikes, then we kick the bags like the kicking we're shown to do, then we do holds and we did running away from the knife last time
dizzy: it would work, at least you get an idea of what you should do
falkor: going back a bit further than that, let's move on back to last November, you went to the Patrol Policy Seminar at Empress State Building, how did that go?
dizzy: it was interesting to know - even in the MET - how many different types of PCSOs there are - that struck me as kind of different, because I thought everybody did roughly the same and they don't
falkor: please give an example
dizzy: somebody was saying that they were a special PCSO that just went on patrol in cars and they kind of patrolled different areas in their cars, going to the larger PCSO kind of calls
falkor: "response PCSOs" ?
dizzy: THAT WAS IT! Response PCSO that was it!
falkor: I've heard about that too
dizzy: yeah well I hadn't even heard about it, but that was kind of quite interesting
falkor: well was the special PCSO saying he was patrolling on his own?
dizzy: no I don't think they were
falkor: so there you have 2 PCSOs out in a car, going to calls?
dizzy: yes definitely, response PCSOs
falkor: did anybody else have a reaction to that at the meeting?
dizzy: well it didn't come out at the big part of the meeting, we got split up into groups and the response PCSO was in my group
falkor: anything else notable from the day?
dizzy: it came up about 'proximity patrolling' that was kind of LARGE - that was what the whole seminar was based on
falkor: they were basically telling you that you've got to do it were they?
dizzy: well yes 1. if it's daytime and it's safe 2. if it's less safe, more if it's a dangerous area, it was all common sense
falkor: so how does it work out where you work, do you do proximity patrolling?
dizzy: yes we do and it's just come into force even more at the moment, so yes
falkor: what do YOU think about it?
dizzy: I'm actually happy with it
falkor: 'proximity patrolling' is a PCSO on one side of the street, with another PCSO on the other side of the street, is that right?
dizzy: ah well, that's not quite what we were told at that meeting
falkor: ok what is it then?
dizzy: say in the daytime it's 1s, 2s if you're not happy with 1
falkor: 'proximity patrolling' is on your own in fact?
dizzy: it can be on your own - yeah in the daytime where it is as safe as it can be type thing, that's what we were told
falkor: that's 'proximity patrolling' ? going on your own?
dizzy: I know it sounds fairly silly, but yes
dizzy: but if say I wasn't happy going out in a 1, then a proximity could be opposite sides
falkor: opposite sides of the road
falkor: what a laugh
dizzy: I know and that never works anyway, because you always lose the person on the other side anyway
falkor: of course you do, I mean I could see that coming a mile off. ANYWAY you've been in response cars roaring down the road on blues and twos haven't you?
dizzy: only twice
falkor: go on then - what happened?
dizzy: I'll start with the second time. We'd been chasing somebody and the patrol car STOPPED on blues and twos and let us get in and then we went off looking for them
falkor: the PCs stopped their car when they saw you and you bundled into the response car?
falkor: that is brilliant
dizzy: it was, it is good
dizzy: the first time it was an accident and we were going back to the station and a call came out
falkor: going back to the second one, who were the PCs in the response car that stopped for you, did you know them?
dizzy: it's a small station so yes we did and they knew that we were the PCSOs who had called to say that we were chasing somebody
falkor: so you're on pretty good terms with them
dizzy: yes that was a different station but we are on good terms with all the PCs
falkor: good news
dizzy: yes because reading the forums a lot of them have more troubles than we do - I've never had problems with the PCs
falkor: well I'm glad to hear it and moving on I read that you actually wanted free tube travel ON DUTY, because a lot of ppl say wait a minute ... ON DUTY .. you can just go on the tube train anyway
dizzy: yeah but you can't really, it kind of gets difficult though
dizzy: my beat is either 2 bus journeys, and or a good half an hours walk to the wrong end of my beat, or 1 tube stop to the right end of my beat, so if we could have it on duty, it would make it so much easier
falkor: so in fact you still haven't got it?
dizzy: no we still haven't got it. I think when I first started there was a local agreement for 1 of our tube stations to let us use it, but that's been stopped as well now
falkor: because one of our BTP PCSOs on the forums says, 'look you're in uniform, you're not going to get kicked off the tube' but you're saying 'wait a minute, we haven't got a right to travel on the tube, therefore I'm not doing it'
dizzy: it has been done, but you can't really do it, it's not necessarily the BTP police officers there, because you have to be let in and out of the barriers anyway, so it would be known that you're doing it
falkor: fair comment I can't disagree with what you're saying there, so moving on, what about work returns?
falkor: you were saying on the forums that work returns will show up any lazy PCSOs
dizzy: we've just had our new work returns sorted out - we've had about four different types
dizzy: we've had detailed ones and then non-detailed ones, we've just gone back to quite detailed ones, so if you did do nothing, it would show up
falkor: what kind of things are we talking about on there dizzy?
dizzy: on ours at the moment we put CLE/28s, visits, CRIMINTS
falkor: [interrupting] VISITS? I don't understand 'visits'
dizzy: Safer Neighbourhoods, we've got community visits, all your kind of minority groups , or elderly homes or small communities
falkor: what visits do you do?
dizzy: school visits, certain others listed, burglary follow ups
falkor: what do you do for the burglary follow up?
dizzy: we just call on them and make sure that they're still ok, that they haven't remembered anything else and that they're happy with the security - and just to make sure that they know that we're now keeping an eye on them
falkor: do you do any house to house enquiries at all?
dizzy: no I haven't, the PCs do but not the PCSOs
falkor: so on your work returns you've got CLE/24s, visits, CRIMINTS ....
dizzy: and stops
falkor: how do you find that? there's a big form to fill out for each one
dizzy: well the stops are kind of quite easy really - the more you do them, the easier they are to fill out
falkor: if you come up to a group of 3 or 4 kids though, that does become a bit of a chore
dizzy: it is but that's how it goes
falkor: talking about a bit of a chore, I read about your family, your kids are aged 19, 16, 14 and 12 I shouldn't think you've got a spare moment
dizzy: it's a shame I'm not a PCSO in that area because I would be able to find out all the gossip
falkor: how's the 19 year old?
dizzy: that one's no problem I've now got a 15 and 16 year old the two middle ones
falkor: has your 19 year old left home then?
dizzy: no she's still at home, but very quiet and looks after herself, and often the others, so I don't need to take much notice
falkor: she's very quiet?
falkor: is she getting a job or anything?
dizzy: she works at John Lewis
falkor: so are you enjoying yourself as a PCSO then?
dizzy: it's excellent it really is
falkor: and you did work for a very large fast food restaurant didn't you?
dizzy: I did for about 8 years, funny enough it's really similar to being a PCSO - still got the same amount of youths coming in and out and you've still got the public, it's just that you've got slightly more authority as a PCSO
falkor: this is McDonalds now is it?
falkor: my daughter was working for McDonalds for a couple of years and would like to have been a floor manager or a shift manager, was that ever offered in your direction?
dizzy: I was a shift manager yes and I did admin for a few of the stores
falkor: did you enjoy that?
dizzy: yes I must admit I've got nothing against them
falkor: I've got to say that I do enjoy an occasional McDonalds, especially on the motorway, what about you?
dizzy: I still eat them - my daughter works there and she's really happy working there part time as well, I would recommend that to anybody as well
falkor: what about injuries?
dizzy: trips and falls, I think that's the main injuries of any job really
falkor: no burns?
dizzy: no burns
falkor: oh because my daughter got a few burns down there from the cooking you know
dizzy: yes from the friers, if you're not careful you will get caught from the baskets
falkor: any public order problems?
dizzy: always, if you've got a McDonalds you've got youths haven't you - we had loads of them 15 - 20 at a time and couldn't ever get them out and the police wouldn't come but you really didn't know whether the police should come or whether the police shouldn't come
falkor: you called the police and they didn't come?
dizzy: well they did and the youths wouldn't move, but they really weren't doing anything apart from just causing harassment
falkor: well that's a bit disappointing I think
dizzy: but it did encourage me to be a PCSO though
falkor: is that where you got the idea from to be a PCSO?
dizzy: well partly and also because my husband's in the job anyway, he suggested it
falkor: I should think you're getting far more money as a PCSO aren't you?
dizzy: not a lot more, managers from McDonalds do get paid good money, so not a lot more
falkor: well there's a famous lady on our forums who I understand that you're quite well acquainted with by the name of dilly day dream
dizzy: I don't know whether I've met her
falkor: you live 10 minutes from her
dizzy: I know but I haven't spoken to her though, but I do think of her everytime I see the mopeds in Stevenage
falkor: you haven't come across her then?
dizzy: no I haven't
falkor: oh you should have come to our Kew Gardens do last year, you would have done then
dizzy: I'm up for the next one
falkor: I noticed that last September there was a red Peugeot 106 up for grabs on the market place
dizzy: yes I sold it to Jimbo and he bashed it - he wrote it off, that was my 106
falkor: he wrote it off?
dizzy: yes don't you remember the pictures of him laying down in hospital?
falkor: lummocks that was your car that he ploughed asunder?
dizzy: that was mine
falkor: dear oh dear poor Jimbo but what a thread, that was a real legend, I forgot about that
falkor: he recovered very quickly though
dizzy: he did look kind of worrying for a couple of weeks
falkor: certainly did, that's our Jimbo
falkor: so ... apart from karate have you got any other hobbies that you like doing?
dizzy: no not really I do karate and I'm a taxi driver to my children constantly
falkor: what do they do?
dizzy: just want a lift backwards and forwards all the time
falkor: have they got clubs have they?
dizzy: yes they do swimming and have boyfriends and girlfriends in all directions
falkor: saves you getting bored though
dizzy: y'know a little bit of boredom might be quite pleasant
falkor: I should think so [laughing] is there any overtime going over where you are?
dizzy: we don't have a lot of overtime, it comes occasionally but not that often
falkor: you've moved around a bit because last year ....
dizzy: [interrupting] I was at a different station
falkor: and you celebrated hanukkah didn't you?
dizzy: ah that was wonderful
falkor: you had a predominantly jewish area didn't you?
dizzy: it was really good
falkor: go on then I'm listening
in 2008, saves were made of 17 pages from national-pcsos, comprising 2006 - 2007 material
Go to the first of 17 pages on pcsos-national, that records the acceleration of PCSOs to 16,000 personnel on the streets of England and Wales.
dizzy: there was a marquee at one end of the street and this is a main road and they shut off one side of the road, for the big procession with large lighted sticks just like matchsticks but 3' tall and I was at the front of the procession and normally a lady has to go right at the very back and I was at the front and they all danced up the street, kind of jewish men with their hats on - it was wonderful, it was really really good
falkor: I can imagine, so how did you end up moving from that station then?
dizzy: a Safer Neighbourhood came up
falkor: so you weren't Safer Neighbourhoods before
falkor: what were you then?
dizzy: I was just a PCSO. You still had a small area but it wasn't yours like a Safer Neighbourhood
falkor: what's the difference?
dizzy: Safer Neighbourhoods you're not normally abstracted from your area
dizzy: you've got your area you stay in it and you get to know your own people
falkor: so what abstractions did you get before then?
dizzy: well I didn't really, but the PCs could. In a Safer Neighbourhoods your PCs don't get abstractions either
falkor: so you left there then, are you glad you moved?
dizzy: oh yes
falkor: well that's about it dizzy, that's about it thanks for phoning
dizzy: thank you for speaking to me
falkor: it's been most interesting
dizzy: take care, bye C O N C L U D E D 0925 13 March 2006
all in the day of a PCSO ...
jimbo 25 Mar 2006 11:37 pm
I think I should clear something up... it wasn't the Pug that got written off, unfortunately, it was my more expensive motor.
Also, I didn't bash it or write it off... I was stationary when a fella went into the back of me - so he did
dizzy 27 Mar 2006 11:22 pm
do you mean the 106 is still alive xxxxxxxxxx