2007's PCSO NEWS
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Two of Cornwall's biggest and busiest beaches are being patrolled by Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) who are fully trained as beach lifeguards.
Two officers will patrol Fistral and Perranporth throughout the summer.
They will be responsible for community safety including issuing alerts over missing children, lost property, theft and general reporting of crime.
The scheme is a joint initiative by Devon and Cornwall Police and the RNLI aimed at improving beach safety.
The PCSOs have been given full training as lifeguards by the RNLI and can be called on to assist the beach lifeguards during an emergency.
Peter Dawes, the RNLI's national lifeguard manager, said the beach PCSOs will be of enormous benefit to the RNLI lifeguards.
"A beach PCSO provides an extra resource on the beach to carry out duties that in the past have had to be dealt with by lifeguards," he said.
"This will allow the RNLI lifeguards to concentrate fully on their core responsibilities of providing vital beach safety information, responding to both major and minor incidents and ultimately saving lives at sea."
Supt Barry Frost from Devon and Cornwall Police said the trial would provide the best possible service to local people and holidaymakers.
"By combining roles, both organisations gain resources and the public get a far more efficient and dynamic service," he said.
"In my mind this is a fantastic opportunity at partnership working between a statutory body and a charity.
"We have been very impressed with the lifeguard training provided to our PCSO's which will ensure beach safety in and out of the water and in it's widest possible sense."
The project will be evaluated at the end of the summer season before a decision is made about continuing the scheme in 2008.
The RNLI said more than 10,000 people were helped by beach lifeguards in 2006 and this summer 66 beaches across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset are being patrolled.
10 July 2007 view the topic view the article
Community officer stabbed on duty
A Metropolitan Police Community Support Officer has been stabbed while on duty in central London. The man, thought to be in his 30s, was attacked near Lloyds Bank in Victoria Street at 1000 BST.
A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said the officer had been treated in hospital for minor injuries and had since been discharged.
Police have confirmed that a man in his 30s has been arrested in connection with the stabbing.
Victoria Street was cordoned off while police with sniffer dogs carried out a search of the area.
A large public square in front of Westminster Cathedral was also cordoned off and up to eight police vehicles, including two recovery lorries, were called to the scene.
The spokeswoman said: "At approximately 9.56am in Victoria Street outside Lloyds Bank, a male Police Community Support Officer was stabbed.
"London Ambulance Service attended. He has been taken to a central London hospital suffering from what are believed to be non life-threatening injuries."
'Punching the driver'
Tracey Harmer, who saw the attack, said she saw a man in his 20s walking in the middle of the road following a police van.
"The van was stationary in traffic and he caught up with the driver's side window.
"He put his arm up and the next minute he looked like he was punching the driver."
She said the man then ran off towards the cathedral with an officer in pursuit.
Tuesday, 3 July 2007 View the article View the thread
Officers and Police Community Support Officers will be carrying out a series of care and nursing home visits in partnership with inspectors from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, (CSCI).
The visits are aimed at informing homes of their regulatory responsibilities as well as helping staff and residents understand what to do if they are made aware of or are victims of crime.
The proactive visits are believed to be the first of their kind in the country.
Detective Sergeant Dave Grimstead, from the North Somerset Public Protection Unit, said: "For a long time we have wanted to join forces with CSCI to proactively raise both of our profiles in care and nursing homes. "The vast majority of homes conform to their regulatory responsibilities with CSCI and may never have cause to call the police.
"However, there is times when residents and staff may wish to contact both CSCI and the police, but might not know how and through what channels this can be done.
"This initiative is public reassurance to make this often vulnerable part of our community feel safe.
"There are hundreds of people working in homes every day and we all have a responsibility to make this part of our community safe by reporting mistreatment."
Throughout the visits police and CSCI will be distributing information and literature on how to contact each organisation for advice and also report any problems.
14/06/2007 view more news view the thread on this view the full article
Cops in new badge boycott
By JOHN TROUP
May 02, 2007
COPS are refusing to wear badges showing their names and ranks — because they fear being tracked down by violent criminals.
Scotland Yard has spent more than £60,000 on the badges, which are intended to make officers more accountable to the public.
But cops are taking them off as soon as they leave stations.
One PC, who did not want to be named, said: “Most officers I know don’t wear the badges.
“I have got an unusual surname and don’t want it plastered across my chest when I’m dealing with low-life crooks.”
He added: “Police officers are already accountable — that’s why we have numbers on our shoulders.
“Having a name badge just makes us an easy target.”
The Metropolitan Police Authority introduced the badges despite opposition from senior officers and the Police Federation.
All uniformed officers and community support officers will have to wear them by June.
Martin Tiplady, Scotland Yard’s HR Director, said: “Name badges are a useful tool in promoting our integrity and accountability.”
A Met spokeswoman said: “If officers feel that revealing their name might put them in danger, there is a facility to consider an exemption.”
May 02, 2007 view more news view the article view the thread [POLL]
KENT PCSOs to double in three months
The number of Police Community Support Officers on patrol in Kent is set to nearly double within three months.
And police chiefs are planning to meet with a government minister to make the case for extra money to recruit more PCSOs.
But rank-and-file police are disappointed the cash is not being spent on boosting their numbers instead.
The recruitment of the PCSOs in Kent has proven controversial because they have no power of arrest. There are currently 222 PCSOs in the county, and their ranks are set to swell to 382 by the end of July.
The Home Office originally promised Kent Police Authority funding for an extra 474 PCSOs, to be recruited by the end of this month, but then slashed the funding so they could only afford 273.
Ann Barnes, the authority's chairman, and Kent's Chief Constable Michael Fuller are meeting police minister Tony McNulty on May 23 to ask for more cash.
Mrs Barnes said: "The authority has made a commitment to the taxpayers of Kent that by 2008 every neighbourhood across the county will have a named uniformed contact. It's very important we keep this commitment."
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file police, has called for the money to be used to recruit normal officers with full powers instead.
Ian Pointon, chairman of the Kent branch of the federation, said: "For 382 PCSOs we could have two thirds of that number as police officers, which would be far, far better for policing in Kent. "You get all the flexibility with a police officer that you don't with a PCSO. You get far more bangs for your buck."
Among their powers, PCSOs can issue fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour such as littering or graffiti and confiscate alcohol and cigarettes from young people. They earn between £19,672 and £23,056 a year.
POSTED: 29/04/2007 02:00:00
29/04/2007 view more news view article here view the topic
IT’S a year since Surrey Police took the innovative step of introducing Roads Policing Community Support Officers (RPCSOs) and the initiative has contributed towards an overall uplift in the Roads Policing Unit’s performance. However, much has been learned over the past year and now plans are in place to put the RPCSOs to even more effective use – particularly in support of neighbourhood policing.
RPCSOs were introduced to help the restructured Roads Policing Unit (RPU) to achieve its aims of denying criminals the use of the roads, reducing road casualties and supporting neighbourhood policing.
The RPCSOs have been trained to provide high visibility patrols, enforcement and education around the top 20 schools and are supporting neighbourhood priority areas on speeding, anti-social driving, parking and obstructions. They have also been trained to capture witness information, place safety cordons and complete Accident Report Books at Road Traffic Collisions (RTCs).
RPU PC Mark Russell commented: “I’ve found RPCSOs useful in supporting me at RTCs – particularly in gathering details when multiple parties are involved. They have also dealt with broken down vehicles when a road needs to be closed and though RPU officers still have to attend in the first instance if a strategic or fast road is involved, the presence of RPCSOs can allow us to get on with other work.”
Head of Roads Policing, Chief Inspector Moira Munro, said: “While there were some teething problems, including a delay in the delivery of dedicated RPCSO vehicles, all the targets set for RPCSOs were met and overall there has been a 50 per cent uplift in RPU performance, which was supported by the introduction of RPCSOs. This was achieved with both RPU and RPCSO numbers considerably below full establishment. Feedback from divisional officers also demonstrates that RPCSOs are adding value to the Force, often relieving TPT officers from cordon and scene log tasks and dealing with the whole RTC reporting process to a high standard.
“However, we have used the first year to learn more about how best to deploy the RPCSOs and will be making further improvements. These areas include professionalising the role and having better linkages at the neighbourhood level.”
Though the RPCSOs will continue to be managed day-to-day by RPU sergeants, they are now professionally managed by Safety Management Team Manager Paul Beard. He is focusing on medium and long term career improvements for the role and ensuring that taskings – particularly slow-time ones – are co-ordinated to dovetail with partnership activity and provision of neighbourhood support. He’s particularly keen to encourage neighbourhood inspectors to task the RPCSOs to help address local anti-social driving and parking issues.
What do RPCSOs do?
TAUNTON MP Jeremy Browne has been seeing first hand the effects of community policing.
Mr Browne spent a morning out on patrol with Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) Karen Devine and David Scholfield, from the Taunton Town Centre team, to see the work they are involved in.
Jeremy Browne said: "The Taunton Town Centre team is providing an increasing level of visible policing.
"Community support officers make a valuable contribution.
"While out on patrol we found a five-year-old child who had wandered away from his mother.
"The community support officers also enforced the alcohol restrictions in Goodland Gardens and checked for anti-social behaviour in French Weir Park and the Fairwater Recreation Ground.
"I am very supportive of community-level policing.
"I am pleased to see the town centre team working closely with shopkeepers, bar owners and the general public to make Taunton as safe as possible for everyone."
Tuesday 10th April 2007 view more news
Emma on duty
05 April 2007
WEB EDITORIAL - firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMER shop worker Emma Melton has become the latest recruit to join the team of Police Community Support Officers in East Cambridgeshire.
Emma, who is just 19, will join the Soham neighbour-hood policing team.
Emma said: "I am really looking forward to getting to know all the people and issues in Soham, and hopefully I can do my bit to help make the town a great place to live and visit.
BRITAIN'S 'AMATEUR' POLICE FORCE
By Michael Knapp, Home Affairs Editor
MINISTERS are facing mounting pressure to curb the growth of Britain’s “amateur” police.
Police Community Support Officers, also known as neighbourhood police, were introduced in 2002 and since then their numbers have risen sharply to around 8,500.
And police chiefs plan to double that number over the next 12 months. Originally 24,000 PCSOs were scheduled to be put on the beat by 2008 – but the Government has quietly reduced that to 16,000 after consulting police forces, who are largely against them.
PCSOs, who mostly patrol mainline rail and bus stations and shopping centres, have limited powers of arrest. Opponents say they are merely “window dressing” and staffing levels among regular officers will suffer if more are recruited.
PCSOs appeal because they take only three weeks to train and can be employed for £16,000 a year. Regular officers take months to train and start on a salary of £20,000, plus allowances, overtime and pensions.
|The burgeoning PCSO population is nothing more than pseudo-policing and policing on the cheap.||DC Johnno Hills|
Johnno Hills, a Brighton-based detective constable who was suspended after speaking to the Sunday Express about his disgust over Government constraints on his colleagues, has this week launched Britain’s first whistleblower’s website.
The site, which carries a petition destined for Home Secretary John Reid, aims to “develop and promote coherent dialogue and an exchange of information between members of the public and currently serving or ex-police officers”. It also calls on Mr Reid to reassess the policy on PCSOs.
DC Hills said: “The burgeoning PCSO population is nothing more than pseudo-policing and policing on the cheap at that. If they are going to recruit that many PCSOs, they need to do so with the intention of extending their powers and broadening their training to enable them to investigate crime, take statements and process prisoners.”
Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation, said: “The way things are going, these PCSOs are going to become the only visible presence of the police.”
Inspector Mark Judson, head of the Staffordshire Police Federation, said: “We should re-evaluate these PCSOs if it means they are reducing our numbers. Yes, they are out and about but that’s pretty much all they are.”
Mike Thornton, of the National Association of Retired Police Officers, said: “I don’t agree with these PCSOs and I don’t think many of our members do either. It’s a downward step."
A Home Office source said: “They may not be able to do much but they look like regular police officers and their very presence in public must act as a deterrent to petty criminals.”
25 Mar 2007 view more news view the topic on this view the topic on this
Safer Transport Teams start patrolling in Southeast London
On October 3 2006 the Mayor announced funding for an additional 378 Police Community Support Officers for London's transport network would be deployed across London.
Known as Safer Transport Teams, up to 18 new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will work with at least two sergeants and one police constable to provide visibility and reassurance and cut crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour on and around public transport.
The Bexleyheath Safer Transport Team were accompanied by the Mayor, MPS Commissioner, British Transport Police Chief Constable, Ian Johnston, Ian Clement, leader of Bexley Council and Transport for London’s Managing Director of Surface Transport David Brown as they patrolled in Bexleyheath's Market Square.
"The big investment we are now seeing to make our public spaces including our public transport safe is vital. We are launching the new outer London police community support officers here in Bexley, one of the first parts of London to benefit from the "Safer Transport Teams". Crime is falling in Bexley and right across London, thanks to the hard work of police and local communities, but there is no possibility that we will let up in the fight to make public spaces as safe as possible, which is why we are introducing these new Safer Transport Teams.
"Over the coming months, 378 Police Community Support Officers will be introduced onto the transport system in twenty one outer London boroughs. They will form a highly visible policing presence on our transport network, provide reassurance and make public transport safer."
“I am delighted that we have been able to work closely with TfL to respond to the concerns of local communities in this way. The introduction of transport Community Support Officers is a further example the MPS’s commitment to making London safer.
“The introduction of Safer Neighbourhoods Teams across London has already made a significant contribution to the reduction in crime and an increase in public confidence in the police.
“I'm confident the new Safer Transport Teams will have the same positive impact on communities living close to and using major transport hubs."
"These PCSOs have spent a few weeks getting to know the area and the various transport issues locally and the priorities for this Bexley team will include combating vandalism to the buses which has already been improved locally by the fantastic work of the MPS Transport Operational Command Unit's BusTag team.
"The vast majority of our passengers enjoy safe and reliable journeys on the buses and we will not tolerate disruption and intimidation by the tiny proportion intent on causing trouble."
“This is an excellent investment for TfL to help improve safety on the transport system in London, and builds on the existing strong partnership between the MPS and BTP in the fight against crime in the capital.
“It will help to improve overall coverage on the network, which is especially helpful in the late afternoon when tens of thousands of young people use the transport networks post school, and this influx can present police with some extremely challenging situations. From experience we know that as well as being especially vulnerable to crime, large numbers of young people traveling in groups can be intimidating for other passengers.”
20 Mar 2007 view more news view the article view the thread
And 105 lower paid Police Community Support Officers will be employed to plug the gap over the next four years. Cumbria force chiefs are considering disbanding specialist units like dog handling and traffic, and merging the officers into local police teams. A source inside Cumbria Constabulary claims many officers and civilian staff fear they may lose their jobs or be made to take up other roles.
The source said: “People are concerned that certain specialist units such as the firearms unit, traffic and dog handling, for example, will no longer exist and will be amalgamated with shifts at Barrow.
“At the moment these units are run from Penrith and are independent units with their own agendas.”
The source explained that if the units were disbanded they would still be specialist officers in their individual areas but would also carry out normal police duties.
That means there could be more bobbies on the beat.
But inside police stations there are fears desk-bound officers could be pushed out during cutbacks.
Police HQ, in Penrith, admits there will be a reduction in police officer numbers. But the force will not disclose how many officers will go.
A force spokeswoman said some jobs done by police officers could be taken over by Police Community Support Officers and added: “We will be reviewing the number of police officer posts in the constabulary linked to funding information available in November and there may be a small reduction from each area and elsewhere in the organisation.
“This is a real chance to implement more effective ways of working with a more efficient mix of police officers and police staff.
“In support of this we will be investing in 105 PCSOs who will be working alongside police officers at a local level, dealing with the day-to-day issues with our communities.
“As a result of the changes planned by 2011, it is forecast that we will have 40 more staff in total than we do at the present time.
“Our aim is to ensure we have the right people performing the right functions to provide the best services to our communities.”
The shake-up comes in the face of an increasing threat of organised crime and terrorism and the force’s attempts to tackle those threats.
17/03/2007 view the article PCSOs could REPLACE constables in the Met 25000 PCSOs to replace PCs!
2007's PCSO NEWS