the old interviews
What do PCSOs do on duty and while patrolling their beat? Do they actually come across real confrontation? Well yes they do and this comes out on the interviews plus what the officers do in their leisure time, their private life and things like union support and moving on to being a PC!
simply click any logo below to read an interview
When PCSOs are on their beats what powers do they have to deal with people? Can they issue FPNs? Can they issue traffic tickets?
All these questions are answered in the above interviews featured above!
Posted: 12 May 2007 11:02 am
I was particularly interested to read Ali’s article because over the past year she passed over to the dark side and back again. Having just moved over to the dark side myself it was very interesting to read how she made the transition and her motivations for returning to the role of PCSO. It was a brave move and its great to hear a happy ending.
The interview also highlighted an important issue for me, officer safety. Even experienced officers can find themselves in trouble and you can never predict when a situation can turn nasty. Its always good to hear a war story and Ali recalls a couple in the interview which made me chuckle.
There’s even a petrol head moment in there too. Good stuff.
I enjoyed this interview alot. I found similarities between the jobs CIDB was doing on his patch in Essex and the jobs I did myself. When talking about shoplifters for example it shows that even though it is an offence that requires Police action, there is alot that the PCSO on scene can do to control the situation and enquiries they can make to process the job quickly, benefiting both colleagues and the communities.
I did feel a bit guilty whilst reading about CIDB’s successes at the gym. Mostly because I was eating chocolate biscuits at the time.
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TPCSOs look for traffic offences such as stationary vehicles - FPN(R) red lines, illegal parking in loading bays, over staying in Parking bays, misuse of bus restricted boxes, bus lane and bus stop offences. They can issue the Endorsable FPN(E) for parking on pedestrian crossings, double white line offence and dangerous position. The regular FPN(P) parking only really gets used for "uneccessary obstruction" - double parked etc, and non red route parking.
Yes it was written by ianh6 on the MET's first congestion teams back in 2004 and includes the paragraph above plus plenty more on the vehicles and work of the MET TPCSOs!
Posted: 13 May 2007 01:10 pm
A very interesting and enlightening interview. Several things remarked on struck a particular cord with me.
Unison, PCS, and T&G! Falkor is quite correct saying that this kind of fragmentation is not in our best interest. One of the biggest issues I would have regarding PCSOs that I work with is the fragmented, disorganised nature of our terms and conditions. It enables the Met to push issues without a solid body of opposition. Strength in Unity etc… Add to the fact that many PCSOs have an eye on joining the job proper and are unwilling to make a stand and possibly put a stain on their records in the eyes of the powers that be?
Replacement of Station Officers is something that the PCS is very concerned about. Primarily because the SROs have much better Terms and Conditions than PCSOs (like the Traffic Wardens we TPCSOs are replacing.) The PCS is fighting for the terms and conditions be raised to match those of people they are intending to replace. My understanding is that so far, very few PCSOs have applied for the SRO posts – much to the unions delight – and that of currently serving SROs.
(We also have a new creation - Victim Support PCSOs - who seem to have replaced unpaid, volunteer civilians. One colleague has already left to start work in the Kingston area. Will try and get an update on how she finds it if you are interested!)
FPN(E) – yes Falkor – we TPCSOs have Traffic Warden powers. The 3 points on your licence FPN(e) can be issued for Parking on the Pedestrian Crossing, Parking in the Pedestrian crossing area (zig zags), Parking adjacent to Double White Lines (forcing passing cars to cross the Double White lines) and Dangerous Position.
As to the interesting comment about the numbers of complaints from PCSOs he has represented over the last two years – I would add that having Police Officer supervisors instead of our own (i.e. Traffic Warden managers) possibly lie at the root of much of that. Too "civilian" to ordered around like Police Officers?
GlynB is spot on with stating that membership of a Union being important – a must in my humble opinion. You don’t have to put a foot wrong to find yourself on the receiving end of malicious complaints. The backup of a Union is essential. It can happen to anybody.
DANGEROUS TIGER on 23 May 2007 09:14 am :on Specials
“Specials do a great job, but I do feel that their role is being diminished by the advent of PCSOs.
Its the old story. The more powers we get, the closer our role approaches that of a PC.”
Its the old story. The more powers we get, the closer our role approaches that of a PC.”
Subject: Re: interview page on main site
Well, I have to say I found the Alihowe interview brilliant.
She appears to be totally enthused, by her role and home life.
I loved the doggies bit, (just got another German Shepherd pup, tearing the house apart)
Ali just has a special way of putting her views and feelings into words, and this interview, just epitamises it.
She has a wonderful blend of seriousness and good humour, and a very sincere outlook on life, which her interview reflects. Her respones to questions are truly excellent.
It is impossible to not finish reading the interview, as it is so captivating, from start to finish.
I have to confess to being a convert – never had much time for Unions in my past life, and did not join at Hendon. Got into trouble with a Sgt, got singled out, “made an example of” to keep everybody else in line… stressed out, lost the plot totally and actually became very ill.
I was taken on by PCS despite not being an active member and it turned everything around in the blink of an eye. It made a huge difference to me – suddenly everything was put into perspective and my problems went away.
I suddenly had some backup, with some weight behind it. The whole tone of what was going on changed in my favour. Moral - Join the Union. The comments about non-members riding on the backs of members and a Union who is fighting to change things it all too true.
They are not magic and not the answer to all the varied problem we face. I am not sure how good they really are about changing conditions and improving the workplace, uniform and all the rest of that.
Protecting individual members against unfair practices, bullying and the like – if for no other reason than that, they earn the Ł10 a month it costs. And if it’s not your back they are protecting, it’s the back of colleagues. Bullying and discrimination of all kinds are all too common. Being a Union member is the most effective way of challenging such behaviour.
Posted: 14 May 2007 03:54 pm
Ali... wonderful interview with lots of interesting observations. Nice to put some flesh on the bones of name so well known.
One complaint from a personal perspective - Not sure I like the comparison to Council Parking Attendants! We in Traffic do tickets – red route only to help the buses, but really, really hate being compared to, or mistaken for the Parking Attendants. We can ticket vehicles off the red routes for causing obstructions – to peoples drives, bus stops or whatever. Tickets are one of our useful tools. But dealing with accident scenes, ATS failures, and traffic cordons and the like are much more to our tastes. And being PCSOs we also get to deal with shoplifters, the people causing trouble on buses etc. Disabled Badges are the big thing at the moment – detecting misuse, abuse and forgeries. We have had a few arrests on that score lately. So… less of the Parking Attendant comparisons to those of us with Traffic Warden powers if you please.
I have always been surprised to find people patrolling on their own. It has never been policy within the Transport OCU – maybe we are that unpopular! But for all that, in three years plus I have never had any trouble of had to resort to OS training. Well… been close a couple of times but always managed to avoid it blowing up. Interesting to read what others get up to – and a graphic example of why there is a valid argument about us having a means of restraint. We have the power, but not the means. Oh – and nice to know I am not the only one to carry a multi-tool!
PCSO supervisors. Yes please. We now have a team of 20 TPCSOs again, and it something that I do feel would be a considerable improvement over the current situation. Supervised by people who understand what we are, what we do and how we do it…. one can dream, can’t one?
And finally, very interesting to read about the visit to the “dark side” – and it actually confirms some things that I have often suspected. Several good friends have made the change – and more than a couple have had rather a hard time of it. But pride and an unwillingness to be seen to “take a backward step” keeps them at it – on less money, far more stress and very overworked – but they cling to the idea that it can only improve. Seeing some of our long serving PC’s I am not so sure. I can only admire the decision to return to the light. Welcome back Ali.
Chao - Ian
These are my top 10 things about me
12 May 2007 04:07 pm
I enjoyed this interview, I have always wondered how Police Officers recieved PCSO,s in their respective areas, and Micky has laid my fears to rest. He brought out a few good points, 1 in particular is the way PCSO,s are trained and the powers that are bestowed on us, but most of all how we use them. Maybe micky, as you are a PC of 30 years experience its the likes of you that can speak to the SMT on such Training.
However, I doubt if i would Challenge the youths of today to a Race, but it does put the message across that no matter how young they are or how old we are we can still put some speed on when we need it LOL.
I did notice that there was a few Silences on there from the both of you, does this mean that although the speed is still there, its the Brain that needs a bit of improving ( not really only Joking)
Thanks for putting it on again i enjoyed it
Posted: 12 May 2007 04:22 pm
This interview was very informative, It has proved why we as PCSO,s should Join a Union of some sort and in particular UNISON. If it is true as to what the union are doing for me then i am happy that i joined. Not only NYP but Nationally.
What i want to know Glyn is how do you find time to do all these extra activities and how do you keep going. when i am on days off all i want to do is veg out.