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more 2007 articles

2007

Senior officers give support for PCSOs

Senior officers at Avon and Somerset Police have tonight given their whole-hearted backing to the force's Police Community Support Officers.

Assistant Chief Constable Avon and Somerset Constab Steve Mortimore spoke out after a screening of the Tonight With Trevor McDonald programme.

Part of this programme, entitled The Thin Blue Line, featured footage of one of their reporters on patrol with a PCSO in South Bristol.

The programme questioned the value of PCSOs and highlighted repeatedly the fact that they have no powers of arrest.

Tonight ACC Mortimore gave his unconditional support to the force's PCSOs.

He said: "We whole-heartedly support the positive work that all our PCSOs do and welcome the terrific impact that they are having in communities throughout the Avon and Somerset force area.

"The programme clearly showed our PCSOs trying to use their powers of dispersal and then quite rightly calling for police officer back up at an appropriate time.

"I am aware that the youths seen in tonight's programme probably would have acted quite differently had the television cameras not been there.

"This force fully supports the role that PCSO's perform.

"Part of the programme looked at problems experienced by the Knowle West Baptist Church.

"It should be emphasised that we are well aware of these problems and there has been a multi-agency approach towards tackling the anti-social behaviour in that area.

"As a result, anti social behaviour incidents have dropped by 50 per cent in that area.

"PCSOs and the beat manager regularly patrol that area and a dispersal order is now in place to give the police and PCSOs the power to move disruptive people on.

"Our PCSOs have a key part to play in the on-going introduction of Neighbourhood policing, to work with local communities, as was highlighted by the positive comments made by Knowle West resident Carole Cassey in the programme this evening.

"With more people like Carol, we can all work together to make our communities safer and better places to live.

"From my own personal examples on patrol, I have consistently seen and heard of examples given by local residents about the good work being done by our PCSOs and I thank them all for the unquestionable contribution they are making towards creating safer, stronger, neighbourhoods."

16/11/2007 21:43                Avon and Somerset have now removed this story from their website

PCSOs are effective insist police chiefs
PETER WALSH
08 October 2007 09:17

Police chiefs in Norfolk today defended the effectiveness of Police Community Support Officers despite widespread criticism of the civilian officers elsewhere in the country.

Calls for PCSOs to be scrapped intensified last month after it emerged that two civilian officers in Greater Manchester had not attempted to rescue 10-year-old Jordan Lyon from a lake in Wigan in May.

The boy's grieving mother Tracey Ganderton branded PCSOs “plastic bobbies” and said they should be axed after it was revealed the pair were not trained in water rescues and had been ordered to wait for a real police officer to arrive by which time it was too late.

But today Norfolk Constabulary's Inspector Chris Harvey, who was responsible for the roll out of Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Great Yarmouth, defended PCSOs saying the criticism levelled at them was “absolutely unfair” and insisted their introduction has had a positive impact on the force.

“We've got lots of new people in new roles from all walks of life,” he said. “The idea of PCSOs is fairly new to the whole policing family but overall they've had a very positive impact on the police not just in this county but across the whole country too.

“The most important thing is for the local community who now have police staff who work for the organisation who they can approach on a daily basis, there's more accessibility through Safer Neighbourhoods - there's more visibility and police presence on the streets.

“Because they are doing low level stuff we can get stuck into violent crime and we're seeing big reductions. It has a double impact for us, crime reduction which we're seeing across the county and because they are out on the streets we've now got a lead into crime.”

He said another advantage of PCSOs was the way they were able to interact with young people, not only on the streets, but in schools too.

Last November the Evening News reported how PCSO Russell Oldham, known as Wally, had been working with youngsters in the Brundall area to use football to focus their minds and bodies on something positive rather than mindless anti-social behaviour at the Memorial playing field.

While in August 2005 PCSO Cat Lang and PCSO Steve Downes teamed up with Nelm to provide soft balls for football-loving children in Bixley Close and Foxley Close, West Earlham, after families complained about the damage being caused by leather balls being kicked about in the street.

PCSOs also grabbed the headlines for the right reasons in July when Jill Sayer, uncovered a “substantial” cannabis factory when she spotted a house fire while she was on duty at a school fete. When police and fire crews arrived at the Colman Road property they found hundreds of cannabis plants in almost every room of the two-storey house.

snafu

national Traffic

27 Sep 2007
12:13 am

What are PCSO's supposed to be, qualified divers?

"Two anglers, aged 63 and 65, spotted Bethany who was being held up by Jordon with his head under the water.

Mrs Ganderton, of Bluebell Avenue, Wigan, is disputing the police view that the officers had no idea where Jordon was in the water. "

Quote from BBC.

OK so the anglers told them where he was. What was the time between them seeing this and the PCSO's arriving?

Many of the Sun's readers comment, and I give you an example, "HOW two adults, regardless of their occupations, can stand by while a child is helpless in the water is beyond comprehension." That's no ADULT could stand by and watch a boy drown (which the PCSO's didn't). Now OK the anglers were both in their 60's but the quote says adults, so why are the anglers not being blamed, they DID watch him go under.

What annoys me is all these armchair heroes who say this and that should be done. They were not there so how do they know.

As with being a TO who gets abuse for interrupting every ones journey, things are often not what they seem.

I have actually lived and used to go fishing in the pits of this type that are situated throughout the North West of England. Many of these pits are ex mine ventalation shafts or water spills from the old coal mines in the area.

There is only a slight ledge which gives the false impression that the pool could be shallow, the ledge gives away to anything upto a 120ft or more depth and thats no more than 4 ft in from the bank in most cases. These pits and fishery's are extremely dangerous if you decide to enter the water. A good friend of mine drowned in one, it took specialist police divers to recover him, he entered the water to recover a keep net. Even if you enter the water its extremely difficult to exit as there is nothing to grab other than mud.

Some of the vitriol in the press is very tasteless at best and most of the comment in the media from those who should know better is ill informed at best and shows a complete lack of understanding of the dangers that these pits provide.

At best had the PCSO's entered the water, theres every chance one if not both of them could have been lost as well.

its a tragic accident, but in todays society does someone always have to be blamed, even when logic states its a tragic accident.

conedoff

national Traffic

27 Sep 2007
12:37 am

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fubar

national Traffic

28 Sep 2007

Sorry people, got to disagree with you all here, whether they saw Jordan drowning is not the point, they in my opinion did stand by while a boy drowned. It takes seconds to call in a radio message, two pensioners did go into the water to rescue the girl and when a grown up arrived he went in and found him fairly quickly.

In the wasted time from the PCSO's arriving and the action of the real Policeman there is a possibility that the outcome may have been different. I'm not knocking the PCSO service as a whole, but I do feel that these two Officers did themselves, their service and the community a disservice.

I can understand the upset this incident has caused but I must support the actions of the PCSO's without the proper support and training had they entered the water there may well have been 3 fatalities. I believe there were other people present at the time of the incident, none of these entered the water either are they being framed in the same way?

The Police and PCSO's do a very difficult job with little public support the media are also guilty of taking advantage of this incident and turning on these officers, good news does not sell. Were the children being supervised at the time? depending on what you want you can twist the facts to give the story and desired result. I will stop there.

Guinness Man

national Traffic

27 Sep 2007





PCSO MOVED FROM
THE BEAT HE LOVED





a PCSO has been moved from the beat he was working, where he had built up a good relationship to a council funded post under command of the Tibshelf Parish Council who are paying £50000 over the next 2 years to fund this.



At right is John Lockwood being welcomed by one of the local councillors for the Tibshelf Parish Council.

24 September 2007 10:38


Date Members' articles Select DELETED
9.5.05 Bazza's page aims to be a lively discussion of national issues. Why not give Bazza a buzz via his wombles email?? Bazza's page mid FEB 2008
22.3.04 Ianh6 gives the low down on TPCSOs. Traffic in London? Who is gonna sort this demon out? TPCSOs1 mid FEB 2008
31.5.04 Yeliz Ersiner is one of the top Met PCSOs of 2004. The MET PCSOs awards of 2004 were presented by Deputy Commissioner Sir Ian Blair . MET AWARDS mid FEB 2008
3.10.04 Caz on Norfolk Police: "Real Life Profiles" Caroline Gentry talks about her life as a rural Police Community Support Officer based in Wymondham. Caroline Gentry mid FEB 2008
28.7.05 In 2002 Shane Jenkins was given a budget to become the UK’s first dedicated and professionally equipped Community Support Officer Cycle Patrol. Shane Jenkins' Cycle Patrols mid FEB 2008

Camden New Journal - by SARA NEWMAN
Published: 18th October 2007
‘Yellow-jacket’ squad move in on the dealers

But traders say: ‘We need real police’

CAMDEN Town is to be flooded with police community support officers in the latest bid to drive drug dealers off the streets.

The new team of 18 men and women is due to be launched tomorrow (Friday) afternoon. But, as the officers prepare for a photo-shoot alongside Liberal Democrat council leader Councillor Keith Moffitt and Borough Commander Mark Heath, traders say that what the area really needs is fully-trained police officers.

There will be 10 freshly-trained police officers patrolling the streets around the station. But tomorrow’s launch of the anti-drugs drive will focus on how the Town Hall has forked out £300,000 to pay for the new police community support officers (PCSOs).

Cllr Moffitt said it was because late-night shift workers live in fear of attack – as highlighted by a New Journal investigation last week – that the council is bringing in extra support.

He said: “We have listened to residents’ calls for strong action to be taken against the drugs market in Camden Town and we have responded by making this significant investment in a strong police presence. “The council can now kick-start a focused and co-ordinated effort to break the drugs market and make real progress towards a safer Camden Town for all.”

Cllr Moffitt added that concerns over the lack of police presence between 3am and 6am had been discussed with Chief Superintendent Heath. Twenty police officers and 30 PCSOs will now be assigned to Camden Town.

Inspector Paul Morris said: “PCSOs are not there to replace police officers, but to support them. It is not intended they will be working late at night as we want them working in the community during the day. “The intelligence they gather can also be used to obtain anti-social behaviour orders. All of these things will disrupt the drugs market.” Police say they are hoping to improve their relationship with local businesses.

Andy Morrice, 37, who runs the British Boot company next to Camden Town Tube station, said: “Police officers are fine but these men in yellow jackets do not have any power of arrest and do not command any respect at all. They are a cheaper version of police officers.”

During the five years he worked as a sandwich board man, he saw the drug dealers at work. Mr Morrice said “It’s systemic. They have learned over generations it is an easy way of making money. “The people you see selling drugs on the street are not actually selling drugs they are scamming tourists. “Another reason we have a major problem here is because we have shops selling alcohol 24-seven.”

Vimal Tadvi, 29, who has worked in Caffe Silver in Camden Road for two years, said he has seen dealers arguing with community support officers. He said: “We need real police around the clock. People feel the community officers are useless.”

from the Sept 07 issue of Constabulary
Police-officer cloning Different in name only?

PCSOs deployed to incidents with potential to turn volatile and life-threatening and they also carry out patrol and traffic duties so should they get same pay as PCs?

Mark Harron LLB/Hons, barrister and member of Dorset Police – postgraduate research student, policing diversity – looks at police-officer cloning

Whilst diversifying the traditional police model has been incredibly effective in terms of gender, race and ethnicity profiles, one has to appreciate the strategic long-term results of such a programme.

There seems to be a growing momentum within the wider policing family as police community support officers (PCSOs) are gaining greater visibility on the streets of England and Wales. And as their visibility increases, so does the variety of tasks PCSOs are deployed to undertake.

There are, of course, strong arguments to support the efficiency profile of these new officers and even stronger ones as to whether or not they will eventually replace the uniformed police constable in the eyes of the tax-paying public.

And whilst changes are to be welcomed, particularly where they bring increased visibility and interaction with the community, one must not forget the humblest beginnings from which these members of staff began, or indeed, the very role they were established to fulfil.

Police community support officers began their operational lives in 2002 by virtue of powers conferred by the Police Reform Act 2002, when they first commenced operational tours of duty in central London.

To date, they number in the region of 14,000 officers throughout the forces of England and Wales (the last 12 months representing nearly a 100% increase in numbers).

Their ethnic, racial and gender profile far exceeds that of the regular warranted police officer and their ability to deploy operationally in the public domain for far greater lengths of time per shift, than that of their regular colleagues, is certainly something that is, no doubt, a benefit to the police authorities that employ them.

In terms of public reassurance and engagement, police forces have certainly enhanced policing popularity with the engagement of this new member of the wider police family.

Whilst some forces can be forgiven for the organisational and managerial schemes originally created (or not, as the case may be) to embrace these new members of staff, there seems to be a growing concern as to what activities the PCSO role should be engaged with and the public perception of their powers and responsibilities. Couple this with growing demands on police-response times and operational activity analysis targets, there could be turbulent times on the horizon.

Within statutory limits, (Police Reform Act 2002, Sch.4) chief officers have the discretion to designate PCSOs with a range of community and crime-fighting powers. Although the original concept was that of community engagement and cohesion, there seems to have been a seismic shift towards operational patrol duties that are not necessarily focused on the “community” as the public have been encouraged to perceive.

Whilst many urban communities are likely to have seen a most welcome increase in the number of PCSOs in city centres and areas of high criminal activity, the same cannot be said of rural communities. In rural areas, large numbers of PCSOs are likely to be deployed in town and village centres where their visibility to the masses is enhanced.

Although there seems to be a general consensus among chief officers towards establishing a uniformly applied set of standard powers and responsibilities for PCSOs across England and Wales, one anticipates that the responsibilities and powers conferred by such an agreement will further increase the many that PCSOs already have.

Despite the grumblings of the rank and file, the multiple colours of the mixed policing economy are likely to become even further extended. Therein lays the inherent dilemma.

A number of forces have empowered their PCSOs with the power of detention, others with the addition of body armour, some with specialist roles traditionally undertaken by full-time regular officers, others with a newly revised format of the former “police traffic warden” role.

Most, due to operational requirements will, at times, deploy their PCSOs to incidents that require regular police officer attendance.

PCSOs have been deployed to attend incidents that have the potential to rapidly turn volatile and life-threatening, both towards the officer themselves and the public. The difficulty with the current PCSO model is that it was designed as a distinct and unique “community” support role in contrast to that of a support role to the “office of constable”. Originally designed to be substantively visible and aesthetically pleasing to the community, as recent events in London have again shown, there is great potential for PCSOs to become involved in incidents that challenge their role of “community support” and that of their position as a uniformed support officer of a police force.

from the Sept 07 issue of Constabulary

Mark Tooley Mark up for best UK officer award

A POLICE community support officer who scooped a county award earlier this year is now in line to be named the best in the country.

Mark Tooley, who works on the Kingswood, Danesholme and Great Oakley areas of Corby, is up for the Police Review magazine’s Community Police Officer of the Year Award.

He was put forward by Northamptonshire Chief Constable Peter Maddison.

The officer, who gave up his job as a car mechanic two-and-a-half years ago to become a community support officer, has been recommended for his part in turning around the fortunes of the Kingswood estate, which has seen crime fall since the launch of the safer community team three years ago.

Mr Tooley, who won the cup at the annual Northamptonshire Police awards in July, said: “We get a lot of recognition from the general public who say it is nice to see us around. They tell us things have improved since we started working on the estates and it’s nice to be recognised with an award.”

Since Mr Tooley started pounding the beat, successes include the closure of a drugs den in a derelict property and the removal of graffiti and litter.
The community support officers have also forged links with schools and have spoken to parents about their children’s behaviour.

Mr Tooley said: “Like anywhere, there are still problems in the area, such as juvenile nuisance, but this summer for the first time since they were introduced we have not implemented a dispersal order on the estate, which shows the improvements.

24 September 2007 2:51 PM

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Villages’ new community officer
By Telegraph newsdesk
28 February 2007

TRAWDEN, Laneshawbridge, Wycoller and Foulridge are the latest areas to benefit from an increase in the number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) in Pendle.

PCSO Robert Beck, right, is welcomed to his beat jump to next page PCSO Robert Beck, a former town centre warden in Keighley, has joined community beat manager Mark Whitehead and a team of neighbourhood response officers on patrol.

Football fanatic Robert, who not only plays the game but also manages a six-a-side football team, says he is looking forward to his new role and in particular ensuring that those responsible for criminal and anti-social behaviour are shown the red card.

He said: "I worked as a town centre warden for three years before joining the police so I am used to being on patrol and working with different people and agencies to tackle problems.

"I think being a PCSO will be similar and I am looking forward to getting out and about and meeting people to discuss, and hopefully resolve, any problems they may be experiencing with regards to crime and disorder."

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