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national PCSOs

    the website for Police Community Support Officers across England and Wales

        

Cartoon by John Child all in the day of a PCSO ...

 "the psychological impact of racking it is not to be underestimated"

introduction:  jimbo a member of national-PCSOs from 2004, he has seen pretty much every topic that has gone on and is a VETERAN MEMBER

national-PCSOs interview
    jimbo   Monday 7th May 2007     1700 - 1724

falkor: this is making history

jimbo: [laughing] you’re joking

falkor: have you got anybody in the background listening in to this, they’re not snitching are they?

jimbo: no no there’s no one else here, just me

falkor: your grandmother’s there

jimbo: sorry?

falkor: is your grandmother there listening?

jimbo: no why?

falkor: I can hear someone shuffling in the background

jimbo: no that was me closing the door, to make sure that there’s no one else here

falkor: here I was going to say to you, are you religious?

jimbo: errrr why?

falkor: cause you’ve had that wooden cross ever since you’ve joined the site select to view jimbo's profile!

jimbo: ah yes yes

falkor: that is a crucifix

jimbo: yes that is, yes. I tried to register on your HATO site and someone else had taken it

falkor: oh my god YOU SAW THAT?

jimbo: oh yeah yeah

falkor: because I thought that was very strange that they’d pick that

jimbo: yeah I’m with you on that

falkor: and what was even spookier was, after a couple of weeks somebody registered with the name of ‘kipper’ that really chilled me that did

jimbo: well I saw that as well

falkor: cause I thought that was our mate Dave

jimbo: yeah I PM’d Dave to find out, but it wasn’t him

falkor: not before I’d announced to the elite members “HE’S HERE!”

jimbo: so are you recording this yet?

falkor: I started recording as soon as the phone started ringing, that’s why there was a delay

jimbo: ah

falkor: did you notice that there was a sort of a delay there? A 10 second delay?

jimbo: right I’ll have to be careful then

falkor: what you haven’t started yours yet?

jimbo:

falkor: are you recording it or am I?

jimbo: I thought you were recording it

falkor: you said you were going to do it

jimbo: I’m trying to but my plumwickle doesn’t fit it doesn’t seem to want to pick up what anyone else says, only what I’m saying

falkor: but you’ve got plenty of experience on the old contemp notes haven’t you?

jimbo: yeah I’m used to doing that kind of thing

falkor: where?

falkor: how?

jimbo: this is supposed to be YOUR interview

falkor: nobody does contemp notes nowadays!

jimbo: Mine’s from a previous experience from working outside the job

falkor: contemp notes?

jimbo: yeah similar stuff when I worked for the media

falkor: oh I see

jimbo: I’m used to having to copy everything down

falkor: so have you ever done contemp notes in the Met?

jimbo: no no

falkor: I tell you what, I have

jimbo: I’m guessing this is before tape recording days?

falkor: yeah but you can also use it DURING tape recording days and many a time people have queued up for the “taped interview room,” to be told ‘listen mate they’ve got a 40 minute interview in there’ and do you know what they say?

jimbo: go on

falkor: contemp notes! Have you not heard this before?

jimbo: I’ve seen it done inside cells years ago and recently. Actually a youth I arrested refused to come out and had been very violent, so he was interviewed through the wicket of the cell and that was contemp notes

falkor: but they’ve got to initial every answer

jimbo: well they offered it all to him but ….

falkor: so what is that worth?

jimbo: I guess it’s not worth a lot

falkor: that is absolutely useless that is Jimbo!

jimbo: well it was nice watching it because by that point, I’d handed it over for the CID to deal with so

falkor: well what I was going to say was, people who are used to taking contemp notes – you’ve gotta be kind of at ease doing it y’know – it’s no good if you’ve never done it before really, so a lot of the old sweats if they find there’s a queue for the “taped interview room,” they say “that’s alright we’ll do contemp notes” because they’re at ease doing it, they’ve done plenty of contemp notes before. It’s hard work mind you, it’s bloody laborious to be honest, but if you’re looking at an hour’s queue for the “taped interview room,” there might actually be more than 1 job queued up for it, I’ve seen this done before where they say, “Right! Contemp notes” and they go off to some other room somewhere where there’s no tape recorder – have you not experienced that?

jimbo: the thing is, you know what it’s like in the Met now. It’s very rare that I get to do a tape recorded interview, most of the stuff we get is handed over now

falkor: right

jimbo: so I can probably count on one hand the amount of interviews that I’ve done in the last year

falkor: oh you’re saying that you are handing the stuff over

jimbo: yeah

falkor: to who?

jimbo: CID or hand over team – most of what we do is domestic – it’s going to the CSU automatically nowadays

falkor: yeah – here I saw a marvellous photo of you the other day

jimbo: oh nice

falkor: you and Taffy

jimbo: was that on Dave’s site?

falkor: with Peel House behind

jimbo: on Dave’s site?

falkor: no on national-PCSOs and I noticed that you had the whistle chains on

jimbo: well of course

falkor: you say “of course,” but how many senior officers have you seen wearing tunics and it’s the first thing I always think to myself, “no whistle chain”

jimbo: but it’s still an appointment

falkor: and it looks absolutely abominable don’t you think?

jimbo: well it’s still an appointment – someone should pick them up on it

falkor: but they just don’t seem to have these whistle chains – I think it looks so dire. You and Taffy looked absolutely brilliant, was that at your passing out parade?

jimbo: that was mine yeah

falkor: so Taffy turned up in his uniform

jimbo: yeah I made him

falkor: what a total geezer, I’ve got to say I did enjoy the photograph

jimbo: well you should have been there

falkor: I thought “yeah WHISTLE CHAINS!” really good and the top hats as well of course

jimbo: and they’re talking about stopping the passing out parade soon, which I think will be a mistake

falkor: everybody had top hats and whistle chains?

jimbo: well apart from the senior officers yeah

falkor: [laughing] I bet they didn’t have ‘em did they?

jimbo: [interrupting] falkor, I want to talk you about the early days of the site when it first started as national-PCSOs

falkor: you were there!

jimbo: I was there yeah

falkor: yes you were

jimbo: but then it went over to police community support officer dot com

falkor: oh yeah, the old old forums for national-PCSOs

falkor: they’re actually still there y’know, but I changed the name of them to national-PCSOs/nationalpcsos whereas before, it was national-PCSOs/phpBB2 y’know

jimbo: yeah

falkor: but I had to change it or else people would be slotting onto that no matter what, so I had to change it to stop people doing that, but the whole reason it went onto police community support officer dot com, was because of the speed of everything

jimbo: I remember those days well and I think I PM’d you about it saying I couldn’t log onto the site for a long time

falkor: it was getting bad wasn’t it? But the irony of it is, I think they’ve virtually put all that to rights y’know – it’s a joke isn’t it?

jimbo: yeah but too little too late I guess

falkor: yeah it is

jimbo: what made you start the site anyway?

falkor: you can’t ask me that Jimbo!

jimbo: I can ask you that go on – you’re being interviewed here, what made you start the site?

falkor: oh what a crippler, WELL I think I was on ‘OFF DUTY’ in those days, ever been on that?

jimbo: yeah I’ve seen you on there a few times as well

falkor: oh my god I tell you what, I absolutely loved that site – when I first saw that site I couldn’t believe how good it was. Because it was so slick y’know, but those forums I’m talking about are gone now

jimbo: silence

falkor: do you know what I’m talking about?

jimbo: yes

falkor: and I thought …. What …. Are … they …. Doing? Because they had a move as well and they started some other forums and I thought “WHY?” why have they done this? What the hell for? And if you go onto ‘OFF DUTY’ now, there’s a little text link that says “Old forums” have you ever noticed that?

jimbo: yes

falkor: and do you know what happens if you click that now?

jimbo: it doesn’t go anywhere

falkor: oh you’ve seen that – it used to go to the old forums, but obviously they ran out of flippin lease or whatever, but those old forums I thought were so good and they had so many good characters on there and of course, as soon as you have a move like that, unless you copy all the contents over, which they didn’t do….

jimbo: you have a severe loss of characters

falkor: they started from day one Jimbo!

jimbo: I know I was a member on there

falkor: you had to register again didn’t you?

jimbo: Well I stopped going there for a long time

falkor: oh same as me

jimbo: but you haven’t been on there for a long time have you. I’ve still got a PM in my outbox waiting for you to read it. In fact, looking at the computer I sent it last January

falkor: I think I did see it actually, but the thing is though Jimbo, you’re limited and if you’re going to say, “I haven’t got enough minutes in the day,” that is good isn’t it?

jimbo: I think so yeah

falkor: do you know what I mean? And quite honestly that ‘off duty’ thing to me, I thought that was so good and I started thinking when PCSOs first came in, “THEY should have a version of OFFDUTY” that they can go to, that is kind of like ‘protected,’ because obviously a lot of PCs are or were hostile – I wouldn’t say a lot actually, but there are enough PCs who are hostile to make it SEEM as if everybody’s against them

jimbo: a vocal minority yes

falkor: you don’t need many people to start sounding off and all of a sudden the impression is, that everybody’s against you – do you know what I mean? So I did a few searches on google and yahoo and others and I thought, “Where is the PCSO version of this?” I mean anybody can go to the Specials version can’t they?

jimbo: yes

falkor: if you go onto that Specials version of ‘OFF DUTY’ then – well I mean what a fantastic environment for Specials, it’s so PRO SPECIAL well obviously isn’t it?

jimbo: it is but you were the first one to do a site for PCSOs

falkor: yeah

jimbo: quite an achievement, but as far as I’m aware, you were a response team SGT weren’t you?

falkor: I was yeah, I loved it yeah

jimbo: so how did you get to know about PCSOs? Did you hear them on the radio or did you get to work with them at all?

falkor: I think I just read about it on ‘OFF DUTY’ to be quite honest Jimbo

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: I think I did y’know and I obviously read a lot of the anti stuff and this is what started me thinking. I thought well if any PCSOs come on here, they’re not going to stand a flippin chance they’ll be just annihilated in 2 seconds. So I thought what I’ll do is I’ll find out where it is and I spent a few weeks looking and in the end I just came to the conclusion, “there’s nothing!” there isn’t anything !

jimbo: there’s still not a lot about – there’s Jimmy_bobby’s site – but there’s still not a lot of sites

falkor: have you seen the MET version?

jimbo: well yeah that was set up by a colleague who I used to work with

falkor: oh right!

jimbo: he was my PCSO partner for a long time

falkor: the intranet one?

jimbo: yes

falkor: cause that got really lively didn’t it?

jimbo: well they’ve closed it down now

falkor: oh you’re joking

jimbo: no I’m not joking, they said there wasn’t enough supporting posts – there was a lot of outside people coming in flaming it basically

falkor: oh I’m sorry to hear that

jimbo: it was very sad and especially sad as you think well “we know who you are”

falkor: yeah!

jimbo: there’s a shoulder number on every post

falkor: absolutely

jimbo: they were still silly enough to come in and have a pop

falkor: when did that close down then?

jimbo: about 6 months ago

falkor: ooo I’m sorry to hear that Jimbo. I honestly didn’t know

jimbo: well it is sad isn’t it

falkor: but you could only go back a month on it couldn’t you, do you remember?

jimbo: they didn’t have the memory, they had to keep deleting them

falkor: oh that ‘memory excuse’?

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: do you believe that?

jimbo: that’s what they say

falkor: that was the reason was it?

jimbo: have you ever worked with PCSOs before then?

falkor: yeah loads of PCSOs at Twickenham

jimbo: did they used to man up teams? select to view jimbo's profile!

falkor: no, what happened was they were on Safer Neighbourhoods and there was a directive that came out that said PCSOs would come into the control rooms to find out who the people were who were working in the Control Rooms /familiarisation stuff like that … but they never did it on my team anyway – but when I read that I thought “Brilliant!” this is gonna be good y’know, mind you there aren’t many control rooms in the MET left now is there?

jimbo: most have gone to Metcall

falkor: that’s right. Have you been into one of those Metcall places yet?

jimbo: yeah I have. It’s …. Scary

falkor: which one did you go to?

jimbo: Hendon

falkor: and are they wearing uniforms in there?

jimbo: no

falkor: they’re NOT wearing uniforms?

jimbo: well when I went in there they weren’t

falkor: so they’ve got civilians in there who are wearing plain clothes?

jimbo: well most of them had civvy tops on – y’know the civilian striped shirts but most of them were wearing jeans with that

falkor: well I think that’s fine don’t you?

jimbo: I think if you’re not going to be seen by the public, then it’s not a problem

falkor: but the plans for C3i – I mean they’ve got their website and everything – are, they wear uniform – blue shirt, epaulettes, tie, the lot

jimbo: yeah that seems like a waste of funds to me

falkor: well it’s all about keeping the members of staff disciplined and rank structure and breaks that are regulated, stuff like that

jimbo: you left before the transfer to Metcall

falkor: well this is the thing Jimbo, I always thought I’d like to be a civvy cad operator, I really would, but the whole thing that attracted me to working in a Met control room as a civvy, was the fact that you could wear your own clothes!

jimbo: my borough has not gone to Metcall yet

falkor: right

jimbo: we’ve still got the Control Room supervisors and the cad operators who we have all known for years, worked alongside for years, they know everybody, we know everybody, we go out together. I think once we go to Metcall it will be very sad, because all of that team spirit is going to be lost

falkor: I totally agree, but you’re going to get an IBO aren’t you?

jimbo: well we’ve got an IBO already

falkor: already?! You’ve got both??

jimbo: we’ve got an IBO but we haven’t moved to Metcall yet

falkor: that is strange

jimbo: yeah it means that you have double the amount of officers in the control room [laughing]

falkor: yeah I’ve gotta say I’ve gone a bit rusty on what a flippin IBO is really

jimbo: I’m the wrong person to ask – we’ll have to ask our mutual friend, PC Pete, he’s worked with that for a long time

falkor: oh my god he works up at GT doesn’t he?

jimbo: he used to

falkor: oh right, what’s he doing now then?

jimbo: back out on the streets pretending to be a policeman again

falkor: is he?

jimbo: [laughing] yes

falkor: was that through his own choice?

jimbo: yeah basically they’re all going over to Metcall as well. IR is being taken over by Metcall and like many people, he’s jumped before he’s pushed, when he realised that Metcall might not be the ideal place to work

falkor: why?

jimbo: I think because of the change of working practices and there will be compulsory transfers into different areas – it’s difficult for travelling I know and the shift pattern is 12 hours shifts they work

falkor: yeah and I heard that there are very strict regimes operating under Metcall, I don’t know if it’s true

jimbo: I would imagine it must be

jimbo: but as long as we’ve still somebody on the end of a radio to help me out when we press the orange button I’m happy

falkor: well yeah. Are you on response then Jimbo?

jimbo: yeah yeah

falkor: quite happy doing that?

jimbo: for the moment yeah. I enjoy it and I’m in no rush to get off it. Have you always been response?

falkor: Errrrr [laughing] I applied for quite a few things [laughing] and been turned down for so much. I actually applied for Buckingham Palace, I thought, “I’ll have a few years on flippin Royalty” y’know

jimbo: oh yeah

falkor: But I REALLY got sold a kipper by this skipper up there who told me, “Oh don’t worry about the interview – all they want to know is what hobbies you do and what you watch on telly”

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: oh dear oh dear I was so naïve honestly

jimbo: [laughing] I’m guessing that’s not what they asked you then

falkor: oh honestly Jimbo you should have been there mate. I was so naïve and I listened to this skipper and he was such a friendly fella too and I thought, “Oh what a nice bloke,” so of course I didn’t look anything up at all and the first question they asked me was what is SO30 or whatever the dept is for I99, do you know?

jimbo: Oh I’ve got no idea

falkor: This is what they said to me, they said something like, “right what is SO35?” or whatever the thing is for the Air Support Unit, I still don’t know now! So of course I said “I haven’t got a clue”

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: and they just sat there and looked shocked

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: so they said “India 99?”

jimbo: so I said oh India 99 oh right!

falkor: then they looked at each other as if to say, “Oh he should have known that one” anyway they then said, “When was the last time you called out I99?” and I said “I’ve never called out I99” and they said “WHAT?”

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: and I said “I’ve never called ‘em out” and you could see from their faces that they just weren’t happy and that was just the start Jimbo – it just got worse and worse

jimbo: what an interview

falkor: I tell you what, they should have filmed it really

jimbo: of course you have worked different places, you worked for Surrey didn’t you?

falkor: yeah I’m back there again now, I’m back at the same nick that I was in in 2000 in the Met, working for Surrey, it’s really weird I tell ya – it’s so spooky

jimbo: do they still call you Sarge?

falkor: a lot of them DO! It’s crazy – one of them’s now a Sgt who was on my team as a PC and he comes in and people can’t understand what the hell he’s doing – he’s got 3 stripes up and he’s calling me Sarge and Sir and goodness knows what. Of course, the thing is though – when you’ve worked with someone for something like 5 years as a Sarge, you can’t help but call ‘em ‘Sarge,’ but he just goes overboard and another one does it as well and I really don’t know what to say here, because it’s so embarrassing y’know

jimbo: did you ask to go back to the same nick again?

falkor: no I didn’t really, they persuaded me – this Supervisor called me at home and said “Look I need somebody at Dorking” and they didn’t say it was going to be forever either, they just said we need you to cover somebody at Dorking and I said, “oh alright then” because I was actually working at Banstead at that time – so of course ever since that time – I don’t know 4 months ago – I’m still there now – and I’m loving it, absolutely loving it! I’m cycling to work everyday which I absolutely love – it takes about 20, 25 minutes to cycle and it’s right up this hill as well, so by the time that I get to the nick, I’m sweating buckets, go straight into the shower. Have a shower, put my uniform on and it’s just such a great regime

jimbo: I’m surprised that you didn’t join a sector team in the Met because there's so much cycling in them nowadays

falkor: well I said to my Personnel Manager Jimbo, 9 months before I left the Met, I said “I’m leaving the Met in 9 months, is there anything coming up civvywise?” And she said to me, “Oh I wish you’d have told me – I had no idea that’s what you were thinking of, it’s a shame you couldn’t have told me before” and I thought … wait a minute, there’s still 9 months to go here

jimbo: how much pre-warning does she need?

falkor: I know! Honestly I’m not making it up, so that’s it, I never heard another word from her

jimbo: that’s not really fair

falkor: I never heard another word from her and in the meantime in the Surrey Comet was a massive great advert asking for CAD staff for Surrey. So I kept on thinking she was going to pull me in the corridor, so I didn’t particularly make much of an effort, but I applied for this job as there were a number of vacancies going and of course I got an interview. The interview for that job was amazing I tell you, they kept on firing these questions at me about what would you do if this happened and what would you do if that happened and every time you answered one of their questions, they wouldn’t look you in the eye, they gave you no idea as to whether you’d got it right or not – and it was straight on with the next one

jimbo: bloody hell

falkor: yeah and of course I got a phone call a couple of days later saying, “We need you to start at Epsom.” Epsom was brilliant and of course I forgot that Epsom was a Met station! They still had the Met CAD Room there

jimbo: was it operational?

falkor: no no it was a Surrey station, but the Met had kept their CAD room there and I heard that Surrey Police got a bit funny about that in the end and said, “You’re going to have to leave” [laughing] because it was like they were doing them a favour and so I was there and the MET CAD room was there but it was just like a shell. You know you get all those boards with the call signs of the response cars written up on

jimbo: of course I do yes

falkor: all that stuff was up there and it’s still there now, because they still can’t decide what to do with it, they’ve done absolutely nothing with it Jimbo

jimbo: a junked CAD room

falkor: yeah

jimbo: hmmm we might need that one day, if METCALL goes topsy

falkor: here I’ve got to ask you about your wirless laptop, why have you got a WIRELESS laptop?

jimbo: I’ve only got one phone line in my house and it’s in an inaccessible place. If it’s wireless I can actually put my laptop on the table

falkor: does it work ok?

jimbo: some days

falkor: go on then, it’s got limitations has it?

jimbo: yes yes it doesn’t seem to have any logical reason but some days it doesn’t seem to want to work

falkor: well it would be better if it was wired up wouldn’t it?

jimbo: yeah I’d be happy with that

falkor: have you got the option of doing that?

jimbo: I have if I’m happy to string a wire half way across my house, which plainly I don’t want to do

falkor: you live in a house?

jimbo: well a flat

falkor: oh right

jimbo: a converted house, converted into flats

falkor: are you enjoying it?

jimbo: not bad not bad. I’m in South London so it’s noisy

falkor: but you’ve got loads of money coming through though as a MET PC

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: you are getting loads of wedge but quite rightly too

jimbo: oh no you sound like one of the county mounties now

falkor: well it’s true though isn’t it, you’ve got all that ‘street danger’ to contend with

jimbo: I try and keep away from street danger

falkor: But when you think about your PCSO days … confrontation …. Versus confrontation as a PC Jimbo

jimbo: there’s a huge difference

falkor: go on then

jimbo: it’s different but I didn’t think it would be

falkor: yeah

jimbo: All the PCs I’ve talked to who were PCSOs, say exactly the same thing, that they thought they had a pretty good handle on what the job of a police officer was

falkor: right

jimbo: and then when they did it, they suddenly realised how far wrong they were and I think that was definitely the case for me – definitely the case

falkor: yeah?

falkor: You’ve been on loads of area car calls haven’t you?

jimbo: oh yeah but not anymore because I was there when we wrote off the area car

falkor: yeah but you’ve got another one

jimbo: yeah we’ve got another one but we haven’t got an area car driver now

falkor: [laughing] you’re joking!

jimbo: no no but there’s always talk in the Met about getting rid of the area car of course

falkor: oh that’d be a horror story, no they can’t do that, that’s outrageous

jimbo: I think that’s one of the few reasons for staying on response teams for many long term officers

falkor: who’s getting the next course?

jimbo: oooo that’ll be interesting to see who gets that

falkor: it’s not in the pipeline?

jimbo: well the course has come out and there’s been lots of people applying and of course there’s people who really want to do it and then there’s the guvnor’s favourites, so it will be interesting to see who gets it

falkor: blimey it sounds like it’s taking too long Jimbo

jimbo: well it’s not that much of a major deal, because if you’re working in a place like Plaistow you don’t get as many calls that need area cars

falkor: yeah but it’s a big thing on a team though

jimbo: it is, it is and it’s good to have an area car driver as well, as quite often they’re the unofficial APS usually aren’t they?

falkor: right and what is the car, is it a BMW? jimbo's AREA CAR!

jimbo: yes

falkor: any Vauxhall Vectras?

jimbo: no, not at our nick

falkor: long gone?

jimbo: there are still some in neighbouring boroughs but my borough, we’ve got the BM

falkor: so BMs and Vectras, what else, is there a third one?

jimbo: traffic still run the old Omegas don’t they?

falkor: anything else? VW Golf?

jimbo: I haven’t seen one of those no

falkor: you’ve never seen a VW Golf area car?

jimbo: no, they ran one as a GTI at Colindale actually didn’t they

falkor: that was the one. That was the one I was thinking of yeah

jimbo: have you seen that one?

falkor: well they had one at Kingston and I just thought it looked too small y’know, but they seemed to like it

jimbo: well that was because of the acceleration, but I heard they had to to get rid of them

falkor: oh god right

jimbo: so why didn’t you apply for PCSO falkor?

falkor: I tell you what Jimbo, after reading all the stuff on the site, it appears to me that it’s a flippin hard job and although everybody says, “Oh PCSOs, they should have PCs instead,” but from what I’ve read it can be really hard graft, don’t you think so?

jimbo: I think many PCSOs are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’re not a police officer, but you’re no longer a normal ‘so to speak’ member of the public.

falkor: well funny you should say that, because as a PC, if somebody gives you a load of mouth on the street you’re in a pretty powerful situation most of the time, to deal with it aren’t you? But I’ll never forget the time that we are at the back of my nick – all the cells were full – and we had this right flippin git who was giving us loads of mouth and do you know what, about ten times we could have nicked him and we were radioing through saying ‘where’s the next available spaces’ and they were saying “We’re finding out we’re finding out” but all the cells were full on surrounding boroughs too and I reckon that’s when you feel like a PCSO y’know

jimbo: [laughing]

falkor: because you can’t make the arrest – the bloke is s5 times ten, but what do you do with somebody who you want to arrest and they’re just standing there fronting you – have you been in that situation?

jimbo: I have had times recently where I know someone was arrested up town on aid and there was no Met stations to take him to

falkor: that is an awful thing that really is, but this is a PCSO thing as well, because they haven’t got a power of arrest under s5, they have to call a mobile unit down haven’t they?

jimbo: I know, I know

falkor: and is a mobile unit available?

jimbo: a lot of the time when I talk to PCSOs, we have got lots of new ones on my borough at the moment, and they say what do you say over the radio, to make it sound more attractive?

falkor: [laughing] but this is crazy – a lot of PCSOs can give s5 tickets can’t they?


pcsos-national is approved by DMOZin 2008, saves were made of 17 pages from national-pcsos, comprising 2006 - 2007 material

GO TO MENU 17

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.

jimbo: yes

falkor: but does that work in practice?

jimbo: I can’t see how it does – no doubt you’ve seen the topics running on the site saying about it, but I cannot see how if someone is gobbing off to that extent that they need to be punished, that they’re going to agree to give their name and address, not get handcuffed and just stand there while someone takes their details

falkor: and another thing is, I do agree with the argument that these people should go into the Custody and get their dabs taken, get their DNA taken, photo, get it all on flippin file don’t you?

jimbo: yes, I agree

falkor: and all that lot is being bypassed, as soon as you give out one of these PNDs on the street – where’s their fingerprints then?

jimbo: I think a lot of the problem is that the PCSO scheme was so badly thought out

falkor: well who thought it up?

jimbo: well you tell me

falkor: I’d like to know who it was who actually put it on the table and why

jimbo: the thing that interests me, I look at the HATO scheme for example, they seem to be such a lot better thought out

falkor: well you know the control rooms on the motorways Jimbo?

jimbo: yes

falkor: have you ever been to a Police Motorway Control Room?

jimbo: no no never have you?

falkor: Yeah years ago I went over to the old Heston Traffic Control, affectionately known by the TDT lot as “The Hut” and you do see photographs of these places, they’re very similar to a CAD room and I went over to the one at Heston a few times. Now I always assumed that when this HATO lot got on the road, that those control rooms were the Highways Agency control rooms.

jimbo: Me too

falkor: They’re not! They’ve got their own control rooms AS WELL! Totally separate, so you’ve still got the motorway police control rooms and the Highways Agency ones as well, I just found out about this 2 days ago, I was absolutely flabbergasted. I thought, “What on earth is all that about?!”

jimbo: I bet the taxpayer’s loving that

falkor: I couldn’t believe it. Obviously all the traffic officers know this because they find out from day 1, but people like you and me are just shell shocked to find that out Jimbo

jimbo: that is just shocking, just shocking

falkor: well one of our best members is going over to become a HATO isn’t he?

jimbo: of course Big-Si!

falkor: oh he’s done well there hasn’t he?

jimbo: he kept that one on the sly didn’t he?

falkor: well we’ve seen him in action in his Landrover through all those snowy mountains

jimbo: looks like it’ll be home from home for him

falkor: but I think he’s done a lot of work on his own though Jimbo. I don’t think he’s been doubled up, what was the situation when you were a PCSO?

jimbo: I spent a lot of time by myself as well

falkor: does that work ok?

jimbo: for me?

falkor: yeah

jimbo: I think it depends what kind of person you are. Obviously county mounties don’t have a lot of choice about it

falkor: yeah

jimbo: but the Met with their Safer Neighbourhoods and 1 PS, 2 PCs and 3 PCSOs there is of course always going to be somebody “left over”

falkor: but how do you work it – you’ve got no back up there, you’re walking through some estate on your own – how does that work?

jimbo: well you know, you just make a note of the road name whenever you go down there

falkor: [laughing] oh yeah I know that one – I’ve done that one alright

jimbo: Luckily I went back to my same old borough – so it was a lot easier for me, as I know my way around again and of course there’s the famous thing of doughnuts on the probationer when he/she cannot tell you where he or she is

falkor: you went back to the same borough where you’d been a PCSO?

jimbo: yes

falkor: you didn’t have any misgivings about that?

jimbo: absolutely not, no

falkor: did anybody try and give you pay back over that?

jimbo: no no funnily enough, actually the first person I arrested, my first ever arrest was somebody who a few months before came and gobbed off at me as a PCSO. He really gave me lip it was beyond a s5, but I hadn’t managed to get a unit down and as I say my first arrest was being called into the station office to arrest him and it happened to be the same guy

falkor: you are loving it Jimbo

jimbo: when I walked in there in my uniform and he saw me, his face just dropped and he went “Oh god not you”

falkor: [laughing]

jimbo: that is the best first arrest that you can have

falkor: oh well done you are absolutely loving it

jimbo: there was one question that I particularly wanted to ask you – there’s a lot of talk about this on the site, but what do you think the future is for PCSOs?

falkor: I think it’s going to rumble on and in fact I think at the moment, we’re in an acceleration situation here because we’re only half way to the 16,000 aren’t we?

jimbo: yes

falkor: the 16,000 is actually going to hit. It should’ve been 24,000, which is an absolute outrage to be quite honest – the government promised 24,000 why has that failed? Who’s gone back on that? select to view jimbo's profile!

jimbo: exactly

falkor: That is a total con and all this about, “oh the Police Forces have said they don’t need that many PCSOs,” the Police Forces could have said that AT THE TIME

jimbo: they say what they’re told to say

falkor: so it’s just a CON, but to answer your actual question, for the time being we’re going to see a lot of growth – I think there’s going to be a massive acceleration – did you see that article on the “Kent PCSOs to double in 3 months” ?

jimbo: yes

falkor: there’s headlines in the local Kent papers, “KENT PCSOs to double in 3 months.” I think they’re going to double again – I think there’s going to be hundreds if not thousands more PCSOs flooding in and I think over the next couple of years, it’s going to reach a plateau and I think if you look to like 3 or 4 years time, there’s going to be a peak for PCSOs

jimbo: what about powers?

falkor: I don’t think it’s going to change, what do you think?

jimbo: to be honest, I can’t see how it can stay the same

falkor: go on then, why?

jimbo: I think that at the moment PCSOs are stuck in a hard place – they either need to completely accept that this is going to be a second tier policing and ultimately go along the route of giving powers to PCSOs, giving the kit to PCSOs or they need to scrap it and say no we want them for the community type thing, with NO enforcement. I think at the moment having the half way house is just too hard to work

falkor: well when you say the half way house Jimbo, you mean that every flippin Police Force has a different take on what they want their PCSOs to do, that’s what you’re saying isn’t it?

jimbo: yes of course

falkor: because there’s a lot of PCSOs who can actually give tickets for zig zag lines, did you know that?

jimbo: well Borough to Borough it even changes within the Met. Just walk from one postcode to another and you don’t have the same powers anymore

falkor: s59?

jimbo: seizing vehicles, that is a confrontational role as far as I’m concerned

falkor: well you’ve got the power to do it. . . . nationally

jimbo: yep yep we’ve got the power to do it, but I think you have to be careful about using those

falkor: yeah

jimbo: by yourself – if you’re single manned on an estate in South East London and you know how short/ stretched it is, do you really want to wrestle someone for their car?

falkor: well certainly not on your own, that’s for sure

jimbo: exactly

falkor: no no I quite agree with you, but I tell you what the latest one is – this is when you do a check on somebody and it turns out they’ve got no insurance, or no licence, you can SEIZE THE CAR!!

jimbo: yeah we’ve been trying to do that a lot recently

falkor: I love that

falkor: you’ve been “trying to do that a lot” ?

jimbo: well of course in the Met, because it all goes to Charlton Car Pound, if the car pound’s full, they can only get a certain amount of cars they can take a day, or they say no

falkor: oh I didn’t know about that

jimbo: if you’re on LT or ND, the chances are you’re not going to get any cars taken away

falkor: oh what a shame

jimbo: it’s a real shame, because I actually like processing people. I don’t like giving tickets

falkor: well that is the ultimate process. If you can get that thing seized, they’ve got to pay what is it, £120 to get it out?

jimbo: exactly, plus a daily charge and they have to bring their insurance and MOT as well, so they have to be insured to be able to take their car away

falkor: well that’s what it is in theory, but in practise what it actually is – if you look on the back of the form, they can nominate a third party to pick the car up

jimbo: oh

falkor: so a lot of them do that because they literally aren’t insured, or they’re not insurable to be quite honest

jimbo: oh I didn’t look on the back of the form, I didn’t know that

falkor: yeah they’ve got to allow a nominated third party to go in there, but that third party has to be insured, so quite often it’s a recovery vehicle y’know

jimbo: yeah yeah

falkor: Here I was going to say to you - going back to September 2004 Jimbo, these are the people who you joined national-PCSOs with micky, Big Brother, Fat_Bloke, katalina and sueb, were the people you joined with!

jimbo: katalina’s the only one who’s not still about

falkor: actually I heard from her the other day

jimbo: crikey!

falkor: because you know that “White Light Group” that you celebrated joining?

jimbo: yeah

falkor: she actually replied to that, because you know a mass e-mail went out to the whole of the “White Light Group” people

jimbo: yeah

falkor: well she came back and said that she wanted to be removed from the whole site

jimbo: oh that’s sad

falkor: I think she’s moved on from being a PCSO

jimbo: I see

falkor: so you remember her anyway?

jimbo: yes I do that rings a bell. I remember a lot of people, a lot of people have moved on haven’t they?

falkor: it is a shame, a real shame but it’s not just limited to our forums, that happens to all forums

jimbo: yeah … I think there’s a lot of great new members coming onto here

falkor: what were the first forums you were on Jimbo?

jimbo: the first were ‘OFF DUTY’

falkor: was it?

jimbo: the old ‘OFF DUTY’

falkor: yeah and you saw people moving off from that even

jimbo: I hate to say it but OFF DUTY’s a lot more cliquey than national-PCSOs

falkor: who’s the bloke who runs it?

jimbo: Bernard

falkor: oh my god it is – you know I met him once?

jimbo: did you?

falkor: at Imber Court – only for about 10 seconds

jimbo: hasn’t he retired?

falkor: he’s retired yeah and I was going to meet him for drinks actually and he was sitting in one bar of Imber Court and I was sitting in another. We missed each other completely but we both happened to get up and go somewhere and he was walking out and I said, “Are you Bernard?” He turned round and said he’d been waiting for me and had to go, so that was that [laughing] but at least I saw him in the flesh

jimbo: guilty

falkor: yeah I’ve gotta say he doesn’t really get that involved on the site, well he never did really but you could at least PM him and he would reply, but he wasn’t a hands on admin was he?

jimbo: not as far as I know no

jimbo: but I think he had good moderators so he doesn’t need to

falkor: oh lovely bloke but I was always quite amazed by how little he ever got involved with it, he probably had other fish to fry y’know

jimbo: well you spend quite a lot of time on the site don’t you?

falkor: oh I can’t resist it I tell ya – I just can’t resist it Jimbo [laughing]

jimbo: What does your wife think about it?

falkor: well y’know that two timing thread we have on the site Jimbo?

jimbo: yeah

falkor: did you see what’s gone on there lately?

jimbo: no I’ve been away from home for the last 2 weeks

falkor: because I said to my missus, somebody on national-PCSOs has admitted that they started an affair two years ago and she said well so did you! you’re on that computer that’s your flippin affair!

jimbo: [laughing] but I think if you’re doing shift work, then to a certain extent it does give you extra time to be able to spend time on the sites

falkor: oh yeah

jimbo: if I’m on night duty then I’ve got the day off to do things by myself, but if I’m doing a day shift or if I’ve got days off, my missus is not happy if I spend time on the computer

falkor: when you say your missus, who’s that Jimbo?

jimbo: oh she doesn’t want to be part of this interview I think

falkor: are you married?

jimbo: no

falkor: is it coming up is it?

jimbo: oh don’t you start that

falkor: [laughing] before you know it you’ll have kids

jimbo: oh no no, I’ve heard this so many times recently

falkor: so have you been with your missus long then?

jimbo: 5 years now

falkor: where have you been with her then?

jimbo: how do you mean?

falkor: have you been abroad with her or anything?

jimbo: yeah we go abroad a lot

falkor: where have you gone then?

jimbo: we’ve done a lot of road trips through a lot of countries in Europe

falkor: road trips?

jimbo: yeah

falkor: what do you drive then?

jimbo: I’ve been to France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Poland

falkor: yeah but you said road trips Jimbo, so do you drive the same vehicle or do you hire one?

jimbo: no I drive my car

falkor: you drive your car through Estonia and Poland?

jimbo: yeah

falkor: what car have you got?

jimbo: at the moment I’ve got a Vauxhall Omega

falkor: any particular reason for that choice? Jimbo loves his Vauxhall Omega!

jimbo: they’re great on long trips

falkor: is it an auto?

jimbo: no not an auto, but to be honest the autos are best for city drivers – for long journeys stick it fifth gear and keep it there, I’m a happy bunny

falkor: ah right and is it diesel or petrol?

jimbo: diesel

falkor: diesel and any air con?

jimbo: yes yes but I don’t use it because I’m a cheapskate [laughing]

falkor: yeah but you would use it if it got really hot wouldn’t you?

jimbo: no no we always argue about that

falkor: yeah?

jimbo: I insist on having all the windows and sunroof open at 80 mph when driving through France and my girlfriend insists on closing the windows and having the air conditioning on

falkor: what does your girlfriend like doing?

jimbo: getting out of the car after spending a long time with me!

falkor: does she like boating or yachting, what does she like doing? select to view jimbo's profile!

jimbo: she’s busy like I am with work, so she doesn’t have a lot of time doing hobbies

falkor: what about motorcycling, does your missus get on the back of your motorbike?

jimbo: used to, I’ve now got rid of my motorbike

falkor: you had quite a few didn’t you?

jimbo: yes

falkor: Which was your best one?

  GO TO JIMBO PAGE 2  

        

Cartoon by John Child all in the day of a PCSO ...

  GO TO JIMBO PAGE 2  

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interviews 2007: summary information
#sitememberinterviewGO TO includes
1national Traffic Race Track27.3.07 V I E W  ever pressed the emergency button?
risk of litigation on RRBs
12½% shift allowance or 20% shift allowance
PITO | the site before NT
national-PCSOs early days
2national-PCSOs alihowe27.3.07 V I E W  dogs and cats | street wardens
Lotus as a summer project
judo for PCSOs | Granada 2.8 Ghia
going over to the dark side
heavy confrontation | actually doing crime reports | 3 litre Capri
3national-PCSOs GlynB27.3.07 V I E W  UNISON PCSO working group
Drum and Bugle Corps | S Y Police Band
PCSOs can go onto age 65? | membership of UNISON
Met PCSOs are replacing Station Officers
lower pay for PCSOs? | zig zag lines
PCSOs being issued with batons etc
4national Traffic mondeoman28.3.07 V I E W  Gist logistics | Prospect, union
Police ride ons
verbal abuse in the course of your duties
the site before NT | we’ll be traffic police
get rid of all the PCSOs
5national Traffic Tricky30.3.07 V I E W  Major Incident Training
Dartford River Crossing Police
cooking | Accuracy Brevity and Clarity
Muttley in the hi-vis
French | spam | Dr Who
6national Traffic pongolad30.3.07 V I E W  caravans | legless on the motorway
United Nations
Bosnia
TSCOs
tropical fish
7national Traffic Keokeo31.3.07 V I E W  the problem of passwords and usernames
firefox V IE | subMerged
H.A. model of Toyota Landcruiser
Silverstone grand prix | night security
maglite | driving instructor | CSMA
Bradford's media museum | a windy Thursday | Blues Brothers
8national-PCSOs micky1.4.07 V I E W  'PCSO observers' | s59 seizing a car
offduty | 'pointless taxi productions'
challenging people to races
access to crimint and CRIS
PCSOs being posted to the front office
the 2004 survey!
9national-PCSOs CIDB1.4.07 V I E W  Kew Gardens 2005 | £80 PNDs
PCSO ANPR operator | seizing for no insurance
XBOX 360 | shoplifters
going to the gym 4 times a week
a power to detain, but without using force
UNISON | handcuffing someone
10national Traffic Guinness Man1.4.07 V I E W  police rideons | incident support units
Traffic Officer grade assessors
caravanning
Rover TC and the Rover 3500S
union | bank holiday working
11national Traffic TheWanderer30.3.07 V I E W WorldWidePolice | emergencyservicesonline
Dartford River Crossing Police
rollercoasters
YouTube and the motorway videos
cover shifts | John Child
car stickers and metal badges
#sitememberinterviewGO TO includes

        

  GO TO JIMBO PAGE 2  


falkor's notes

Dave’s site mentioned in the interview by Jimbo is www.probationer.co.uk

OFF DUTY link = http://www.offduty.co.uk/

Specials site link = http://www.policespecials.com/

Jimmy_bobby’s site link is http://www.pcsoforum.co.uk/

C3i website? http://www.met.police.uk/c3i/

What’s an IBO? it is an "Integrated Borough Office"

PNC = Police National Computer

MDT = mini computer terminals in Met Police Cars which display CAD messages to the car crew and allow limited PNC checks

TROJAN = specialised armed response units

NTEA http://www.trafficenforcement.org

S calls what are they?

There are 4 grades of calls in the MET, I is 'immediate' and S is 'soon'
there are 2 further grades, but these are slightly more complicated to understand and are P 'Police generated'
and R 'referred'
I the call should be responded to within 12 minutes S the call should be responded to within an hour P the call has no time limit because it is a call originated by police themselves e.g a Bail Enquiry R the call was referred e.g the caller was told the matter was not for Police to deal with and was referred to the Council

SIG = special interest group message facilities (available only to Met Police staff)jimbo L and Taffy R

APS = Acting Police Sergeant (PC with 2 stripes up or Temp Sgt – 3 stripes but not a substantive Sarge)

CRISs – crime reports

Main set – the vehicle radio set which enables chat direct with NSY

NSY = New Scotland Yard

SOCOs = Scenes of Crime Officers

LGPS local government pension scheme

What are MET PCSOs on? well I understand that MET PCSOs pay into "Scottish Widows" at £68.03 a month

‘HATO control rooms’ and ‘Police Motorway Control Rooms’ were mentioned during the interview and it came to notice after the interview that some Motorway Control Rooms ARE shared by Traffic Officers and Police (e.g. Godstone)

s59 is the section of the law that allows PCSOs and PCs to seize a motor vehicle under certain circumstances

PBase national-PCSOs = http://www.pbase.com/thenothing/p&page=4

PBase NTEA = http://www.pbase.com/jkt/internet_friends&page=1

LT = late turn (typical is 2pm – 10pm) ND = night duty (typical is 10pm – 6am)

Peel House = Metropolitan Police Training School, North London

select to view jimbo's profile!

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