national-PCSOs






  F A Q



  1. If a PCSO is injured whist on duty and carrying out his lawful duty will he be entitled compensation should he be injured?

  2. I am on a fixed term contract for the next 2 years. Do you think that they would be likely to extend that ?

  3. Should PCSOs be in the Police Federation?

  4. Can PCSOs be ordered to do overtime?

  5. Hi all Just want to get an idea of how long people have waited for their security checks to be completed. I passed my fitness and medical back in August and was told it could take up to 6 months. Plus does anyone know of people not passing the security checks.

  6. What "traffic powers do PCSOs have?"

  7. Should PCSOs be admitted into the Police Federation?

  8. Could a PCSO "go on strike?"

  9. What are the most favourable terms of ANNUAL LEAVE and BHLs allowed to PCSOs that you know of?

  10. My union rep is absolutely hopeless

  11. I am not interested in the union, I will stay out of it

    GlynB of South Yorkshire Police is a PCSO and a Union Rep and was invited to answer these frequent queries from PCSOs back in 2008. These questions and answers have provided much support and well received advice since then but if you do find yourself in difficulties, do please seek prompt personal advice from your own Union Rep RECOMMENDED APPROACH TO USING THIS FAQ:

    First, scan through the initial list of Questions to find a Question that matches closely your query.

    Second, note the letter or number in the left column that identifies your Question, then skip further down to where the page includes all the answers from GlynB

  12. How long can PCSOs keep going?

  13. Have you heard of injury being caused to PCSOs through daily use of protective vests?

  14. My Inspector is planning to give me a formal warning!

  15. Can a PCSO issue a HO/RT/1 ?

  16. Our refs are unpaid

  17. What I'd like to do is go with my missus and take a career break, and work as a police officer in Australia. That way I could decide if I would like to live there permanently. If not, nothing lost!

  18. WHY CAN'T PCSO's TRAIN AS SPECIAL CONSTABLES?

  19. Does my force HAVE TO provide me with body armour?

  20. PCSOs should have their own union!

  21. If you stop any one apart from saying "hello" you have to fill in a form so you will have to do PNC checks on that person to see if they are not "stiffing you" giving you false details.

  22. my contract states I will get a weekend working allowance but does not state how much or what percentage? What is the deal please?

  23. On patrol with a partner on cycles, saw a young male who is wanted on warrant, as I take a few steps away to call for a unit to attend he makes a run for it.

  24. THIS PCS UNION IS A JOKE.

  25. We are able to claim the cost of an eye test back from the constabulary every two years. We also get £60 towards specs or contacts if they are needed. Can not remember if this is taxable or not.

  26. As PCSO's are we entitled to two days in lieu because a public holiday falls on rest day or does the fact we did not work sat/sun mean that we are not entitled to the two days in lieu?

  1. When issuing a PND do we have to caution?

  2. In our force we have been told that we are NOT to use powers of arrest and face the sack if we do

  3. I am female PCSO. A PC arrived and asked me to search one of female's bag as he was a male officer.

  4. Could a PCSO get "promoted" ?

  5. Can PCSOs ride on railways when on duty ?

  6. The Police Federation continue to be scathing of PCSO recruitment and powers

  7. If I make an arrest under the "any person powers" do I need to caution?

  8. Do PCSOs get increments?

  9. How did PCSOs get launched anyway?

  10. I have been issued with a protective vest, do I have to wear it?

  11. How active is your PCS union representative?

  12. HEY! how about starting a national PCSOs federation ?

  13. Should one of the PCSOs on team be made a "Supervisor PCSO" ?

  14. I am a member of national-PCSOs and have just received an email from SKY NEWS inviting me onto a program to be interviewed. Can I do that?

This site is unofficial, it is not owned or approved by any Police Force. If you wish to go to the official site, please click here

  1. If a PCSO is injured whist on duty and carrying out his lawful duty will he be entitled compensation should he be injured?

    The question of compensation is based upon the facts of any given situation. There is no automatic right to compensation for anything in law. Your employer may have a compensation scheme based on death, loss of limb, eye etc and this will be set out in your conditions of service. In such cases the question of whether the injury was sustained as result of carrying out your duties and was caused as a result of undertaking such duties becomes important. click on this line for a fuller explantion if needed

  2. I am on a fixed term contract for the next 2 years. Do you think that they would be likely to extend that ?

    Just to put your mind at rest I do not anticipate that any Force would wish to face the political and publicity nightmare of dispensing with uniformed patrol staff. So I would anticipate an extension. Having said that the funding of PCSOs is in most cases on a short term basis with Government granting Forces additional money for a fixed period. UNISON is campaigning for an end to the short term funding of PCSOs. In South Yorkshire we have been able to negotiate normal contracts for all our PCSOs although initially we had fixed term contracts. The Police Authority agreed to ?mainstream? our salaries. click on this line for a fuller explanation if needed

  3. Should PCSOs be in the Police Federation?

    There are many considerations. Primary amongst these are the fact that we are employees and the Federated Ranks are appointees with different rights and responsibilities and a different status in law. The Federation is a staff association not a trade union and as such works primarily with Police Regulations rather than the vagaries of employment law which affect employees and trade unions. Admission of non police officers to the Federation would in my view play into Government hands as they move to try to dilute the status office of constable.

  4. Can PCSOs be ordered to do overtime?

    The question of compulsion in respect of overtime can be a thorny one. What is important in legal terms is what the contract of employment states or implies. My own states?You may be required to work overtime?. The problem here is that even this is open to interpretation. ?May? implies could be, perhaps/voluntarily etc whilst ?require? implies compulsion. Past practice has always been volunteers only and thus it can be argued that this is custom and practice and thus an implied contract term. My advice to staff in operational roles such as PCSOs, Detention Officers, Control Room Operators etc has always been that as they are in such a role it is not unreasonable for Management to ask that they work over to meet the exigencies of the service. They should where ever possible comply with such requests.

  5. Hi all Just want to get an idea of how long people have waited for their security checks to be completed. I passed my fitness and medical back in August and was told it could take up to 6 months. Plus does anyone know of people not passing the security checks.

    Security checks can take a little time but my experience is a few days rather than months. If you have been overseas working or were born outside the UK or come from Northern Ireland there can be delays. This is because some information may be difficult to confirm. The checks on third parties associated with you can also cause difficulties. Your family, live in partner etc. need checking to ensure that you are not part of a criminal or terrorist family. This does not mean that will not be approved if your brother has a conviction but consideration has to be given to your personal safety if your close family have unsuitable records. I spent 6 months working on Police Staff Recruiting and appointed over 250 people. I only once declined to appoint because of a criminal record. It does not mean that only one had a conviction. The main delay I always found was in obtaining references rather than security checks.

  6. What "traffic powers do PCSOs have?"

    Those who have traffic warden powers can issue FPNs or report on summons for offences which the Function of Traffic Wardens Order 1970 (as amended) grants. I spent 18 years as a traffic warden & traffic warden manager and the offences which were covered were all in relation to stationary vehicles. Basically offences committed in contravention of local Traffic Regulation Orders covering the waiting & loading of vehicles (eg no waiting, limited waiting, returning to park within prohibited time, other than motorcycle in motor cycle bay etc). Additionally if authorised by the Chief TWs may work as parking attendants where a charge is made for parking and additional offences then become usable(eg fail to pay initial charge, over stay after excess charge, class of vehicle not permitted to park, incorrectly parked at bay, park at suspended bay etc.) Where the local authority has responsibility for parking under a decriminalisation scheme none of the above should be police responsibilities and consequently PCSOs/Traffic wardens would not enforce. Other offences traffic wardens are authorised to deal by fixed penalty or ROS with are :

    I suggest that those who are unsure consult their force traffic law or training department.

  7. Should PCSOs be admitted into the Police Federation?

    I agree with Dave Prentice. I heard his speech live at the Union Police Delegate Conference. The Federation is not best placed to represent "employees" such as PCSOs. Sworn officers are just that "officers of the crown" not employees subject to all employment law. As Police Staff our conditions of service, rights & obligations are not those of a constable and as such the Federation is not able to deal with our issues. I accept The General Secretary's view that any offer to change Police Regulations to admit PCSOs(or others) to the Federation is a ploy to reduce actual sworn officer numbers. UNISON is best placed to represent Police Staff outside the Met. UNISON has developed a PCSO strategy with a PCSO working group and has established close links with the PCS who represent Met PCSOs Here in South Yorkshire UNISON is active within PCSO issues and we have 2 (soon to be 3) PCSO Reps. This includes me although I am currently working full time as Acting Branch Secretary. We have ensured that our PCSOs are well rewarded, properly resourced and suitably deployed. We frequently take up issues which have arisen because Police Officers in management roles try to treat PCSOs as if they are constables. We are not constables, we do not have their rights and protections and the Federation should stick to its remit and leave the Trade Unions to represent employees.

  8. Could a PCSO "go on strike?"

    Strikes or any other form of industrial action are emotive issues. Within the police service it is highly unlikely that dedicated staff would strike but we do, contrary to opinion expressed above, have the legal right. As I have often said on here we are employees not appointed officers of the crown and as such have our own set of rights and obligations which differ from those who hold the office of constable. In 1986 when we in the county forces were employed by local authorities rather than the current Police Authorities we did take part in industrial action in respect of pay. However in the case of police staff and other workers in the caring and emergency branches of local government this was token action with 6 days out in a three week period. We gained a 9.25% pay increase. (I lost 6 days pay & 6 days off my pension-most of my team mates managed to be on leave so lost nothing) However the fact that we have a right to strike, subject to the legal constraints set out by Parliament, does not mean that we will exercise that right. It would take a lot to get police staff out and rightly so.

  9. What are the most favourable terms of ANNUAL LEAVE and BHLs allowed to PCSOs that you know of?

    Here in South Yorkshire the minimum leave for a full time member of staff is 25 days. This rises to 28 days after 5 years and 30 after 10 years. PCSOs start on 28 days and rise to 30 after 10 years. Our bank & public holidays amount to 11. That is the usual 8 plus the Tuesdays of Easter week,Spring bank holiday week & August bank holiday week. This along with our pay makes SYP an attractive employer and helps in both recruitment and retention of quality staff.

  10. My union rep is absolutely hopeless

    Shop stewards, safety representatives and all other branch lay officers are subject to election and are easily deposed if members really feel they are poor. Interestingly I find that few people are prepared to stand for office. When I first stood for steward we had 24 members in our section. I got 22 votes the other chap got 2 (100% turnout-not bad) Since then I have never been opposed for office in 10 years. This cannot be because I have done such a wonderful job but rather because no one else will give it a go. In March I stood against our incumbent Branch Secretary. Again the first challenge in 10 years. I lost with 120 votes to her 140 votes (33% turnout-not so good). Last month she got a job as a Personnel Manager so now I am Acting Branch Secretary. I am pleased to say that another steward has the bottle to stand against me so that the Members can make use of their democratic right. By 4 August I will know the verdict of the Branch Members. The cost to the Branch is not unsubstantial but we use postal votes rather than that discredited show of hands that was so common in the mass meetings of the 1960?s & 70s. It is important that members of any organisation use their democratic rights and hold their officers to account. If we did this at the Parliamentary elections we would perhaps reduce the fatalistic attitude so often demonstrated by our people. You can make a difference.

  11. I am not interested in the union, I will stay out of it

    I can understand those who decide that they do not wish to join a union or for that matter any other club. Some have religious or political reasons others just do not like joining. My own thoughts are as follows. I accept the negotiated settlements which unions gain at national level. Pay awards, minimum conditions of service etc. As such I feel I am honour bound to contribute both financially and time wise to the union. I work for the police force and as such it is not possible for me to negotiate an individual contract. If I am required to accept the joint negotiations undertaken by my employer and the recognised unions I feel that I should be involved, even if only by voting, in such negotiations. At the personal level I have benefited from legal advice and representation at a disciplinary hearing as well as assistance with a successful criminal injury claim. You mention service in the Forces. The armed forces of the Crown have the benefit of a pay award system which Parliament has laid down. (I think they get a poor deal given that service is at risk of life and limb) Employees do not have such a body and as such we have to negotiate any improvements in our pay & conditions. I am not a party political animal and indeed find some of the political debate within my union at national level at odds with my own views but then again in a democracy one needs to hear a spectrum of views. This does not mean that I am not interested in politics with a small ?p?. For example UNISON, PCS etc have used their political funds to fight the attempt by Government to change our occupational pension rights. Does anyone really think that the Government backed down out of the goodness of their hearts? No the threat of industrial action by Local Government Workers, Nurses, Civil Servants and others prior to the General Election cause a climb down. Perhaps "Unity is Strength" In this case we now enter a difficult negotiation round which I believe will result in changes in the Civil Service, NHS & Local Government Schemes but not the draconian changes the Government intended. So by all means remain outside the union but please understand that many of your colleagues are both paying subscriptions and influencing the work of unions which in turn directly affect your employment conditions.

  12. How long can PCSOs keep going?

    Few things last for ever but I believe that for the foreseeable future PCSOs will continue. Can you imagine any politician telling the electorate that they intend to withdraw thousands of uniform patrol staff from the streets of England & Wales? No doubt the job will continue to change & develop but I think we can expect many years of PCSOs or what ever name we may be known under in future times

  13. Have you heard of injury being caused to PCSOs through daily use of protective vests?

    As part of my UNISON duties I sit on our Force Staff protection Working Party. We have discussed issues round protective vests several times although no PCSO has reported any problem. Over the last few years a very small number of police officers have claimed that vests have caused worsening of back problems. To what extent this is a result of wanting exemption from wearing the vest is unsure. I am not aware of protective body armour having caused back injuries from normal usage. However there have been cases where it appears that injuries caused by RTCs have been exacerbated by the wearing of armour. There have been cases where body armour has been cited as increasing existing back problems. As far as I am aware this is not a proved, widespread phenomena. The type of armour and the accuracy of the fit are important in terms of the comfort of the wearer. An associated problem is the wearing of belts to carry items of equipment. The distribution of weight between utility belt and armour cover has been the cause of some discussion. The way forward with any problem of this sort is through your Force Staff Protection Committee or similar body such as H&S Committee and individual assessment for those claiming problems by Occupational Health Advisors. There is a balance between the protection afforded by armour and any possible discomfort or injury experienced by an individual. As ever consult your union

  14. My Inspector is planning to give me a formal warning!

    My assumption is that if there is any attempt to give you a formal warning there must be or have been a hearing. You are entitled to be accompanied to any disciplinary hearing by another employee of the Force or a Trade Union Rep. This means that if need be your full time union officer can represent you even if they are not employed by your Force. If you are not in a union any other employee of the force may accompany you to give you advice. These are legal rights not just contract rights. You must be given reasonable notice of any hearing and be informed of the case against you. You (your rep) can present your case and you can call witnesses. The rule of natural justice must be applied. If it has not reached the formal discipline stage your force will have some form of grievence, fairness at work, anti-harassment policy which you might consider using. You might want to use it to address issues with you work mates or your line manager. If the situation is one that relates to your capability to carry out the role there are different rules if you are still in your probation period. It is easy for probationary employees to be dismissed for incapability or unsatifactory performance including sickness etc.provided they are not discriminated against on the grounds of race, gender, disability etc. This type of case is not common but it is at these times that you need to be in a union. You Rep will be able to ensure that you are properley treated. The Rep in such cases is not interested if you are guilty or not only to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and that you get treated fairly and reasonably. It is simply not possible to give more detailed advice at arms length so my advice would be to seek help at once. As always consult you union.

  15. Can a PCSO issue a HO/RT/1 ?

    This topic has been discussed on here several times. A Chief Constable may designate suitable members of staff to be PCSOs. In effect this means one may be recruited to be a PCSO or may already hold some other post such as Traffic Warden and be designated as PCSO with what ever powers (as defined in the Police Reform Act) the Chief Constable (Commissioner) may determine. In reality many forces have recruited PCSOs and given them Traffic Warden Powers. Such powrs are contained within the Functions of Traffic Wardens Order 1970 and its amendments. These powrs include the direction of traffic including pedestrians, the enforcement of street parking restrictions (except where these have been deciminalised), breaches of the lighting regulations, vehicle tax offences and unnecessary obstruction under the constrution and use regulations. The power to issue HORT/1 is dependent on one of the endorsable offences for which a Traffic Warden has the power to deal being detected. These are leaving a vehicle at rest within the confines of a pedestrian crossing (zebra,pelican etc) or the crossing contrlled area and leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position. In such cases the driver must produce a driving licence. HORT/1 can thus be issued to cause the production. However there is no power to require other documents to be produced. A Traffic Warden acting under the direction of and in company with a constable can,with the authority of the Chief Officer, require other productuons and deal with other offences in respect of certain moving traffic. However this is a difficult section of the order to understand and I am not aware of this being used. The Home Office determination on Traffic Warden Uniform requires that a Traffic Warden who is also a PCSO will wear the PCSO uniform of their force and must have on each shoulder and on the breast the word "Traffic" in addition to any other titles and numbers. There is no definition of the size or colour of the lettering. Hope this helps

  16. Our refs are unpaid

    I spoke to the union and as far as they're concerned we should get two 45 min refs on a 12 hour shift A Meal break will be subject to several considerations including your contract of employment, conditions of service, working time regulations and local agreements. The basic entitlement is to a break in each 6 hour period. This break is not clearly defined in the WT Regulations but would usually be 30 mins. If you work a standard 37 hour week of 5x8hour shifts you will be paid for 7hrs 24 mins per day thus meal time (unpaid) is 36 mins. This is yet another area in which your trade union can help to gain clar ity at local level. I am currently in Glasgow at the UnisonConference where on Sunday we debated some issues around PCSOs. When I get back home I will post more information. As always if in doubt consult your union.

  17. What I'd like to do is go with my missus and take a career break, and work as a police officer in Australia. That way I could decide if I would like to live there permanently. If not, nothing lost!

    With respect to career breaks you may find that conditions differ between Police Officers and Police Staff such as we PCSOs. In effect Officers resign but with a promise that they will be reemployed should theyt return within the specified time period. They may therefore earn whilst on the break. Staff remain employees and may not undertake paid work without the specific consent of their employer( Just as one would need permission for a second job) Consequently one, being Police Staff, could not take a career break and then go to work as a police officer in WA or NSW. One does however maintain rights to maternity pay whilst on a career break. These conditions apply within SYP and I suspect most other Forces. As ever consult you union for detailed information. I recommend UNISON

  18. WHY CAN'T PCSO's TRAIN AS SPECIAL CONSTABLES?

    The legal situation is that one may not hold the office of constable and be a traffic warden or PCSO because they are incompatable. A constable (either regular or special) holds an office which gives the power of arrest even when not on duty. A constable has an obligation to act to maintain the peace, prevent crime etc. both on and off duty. Given that a PCSO (or traffic warden) has only those powers of arrest that any citizen has the conflict is evident. If one, being a special constable, was on duty as a PCSO and an incident occured which could not be dealt with in that capacity but could and should be dealt with by a constable how should one react? There is an obligation on a constable to act but a PCSO may not-the conflict is clearly evident. This is not new and over my 20 years service I have known many Specials who upon accepting a traffic warden job had to give up the office of constable

  19. Does my force HAVE TO provide me with body armour?

    The issue of personal protective equipment(PPE) is subject to a variety of legislative requirements. Your union can advise you regarding this as it is a health & safety issue. Your employer is required to undertake a risk assessment in respect of the activities you undertake. In most forces the risk assessment has found that there is a risk of injury caused by stabbing/shooting. This may be because the job puts PCSOs in positions where they are at such risk &/or because they work in locations where random assaults occur. PPE is a last resort in terms of the risks of any job. The first consideration should be for safe working practices eg working in pairs, withdrawal from direct conflict where possible etc. Your employer must show that they have conducted the risk assessment, identified risks and put control measures in place.You should know what the control measures are and have a legal duty to comply with them. They can take financial considerations into account but only where the cost is disproportionate to the risk. A daft example might be that space debris could fall on you so you should have a hard hat. The risk is so small that it would be unreasonable to defend against it Providing protective vests (say £500 per unit) is not disproportionate if there is a real risk of fatal or seriouse injury. My advise would be to look at the risk assessment and see if the control measures are workable and if they reduce the risk of weapon attacks to such a level that PPE is not required.Your union H&S Rep has considerable rights and your employer must allow him/her to conduct investigations and inspections. Your Force should have a system of H&S Committees at BCU & Force level which will include safety reps from the police staff associations and the unions. Speak with your reps on these committees

  20. PCSOs should have their own union!

    My view is quite clear that the current unions are more than capable of representing all Police Staff including PCSOs. However union membership should not be seen as a passive activity. Like all democratic organisations member participation is vital. Here at SYP we are fortunate to have two PCSO reps who have long experience with the Force as traffic wardens. Having said that the training we receive from Unison is extensive and fits us for our role. Both our current PCSO Reps are also Suppervisors but the Members continue to elect us. As I have said before there is critical mass effect and the possible number of PCSOs who could form a seperate union is too small to ensure stability. Unison has a massive membership in the public service including in excess of 35,000 Police staff in England & Wales. The recent government climb down on pensions was as a result of pressure from all the public sector unions. I doubt that a Police Staff only, let alone a PCSO only union could have had any real influence on Government. Always happy to discuss these issues but for me it is most important that we all join a union which is recongnised by our employers and take an active part in its activities.

  21. If you stop any one apart from saying "hello" you have to fill in a form so you will have to do PNC checks on that person to see if they are not "stiffing you" giving you false details.

    Your Force policy will determine if you can carry out checks. However person checks form a major part of the intelligence gathering side of the job so I do not think any Force would prohibit name checking. As with a Constable you can only require details if the person is committing one of the offences which you have the power to deal with. there is no general requirement on a person to give you details just because you ask. However the vast majority will give details even if you have no power to require them. Stop and account will apply to PCSOs.

  22. my contract states I will get a weekend working allowance but does not state how much or what percentage? What is the deal please?

    If Sunday is a duty day weekend working allowance is paid. that is plus 50% as for a Saturday. If the Sunday is on overtime the rate is double time. That is 2xnormal rate per each hour. This is the PSC handbook agreement which applies in most Forces in England & Wales

  23. On patrol with a partner on cycles, saw a young male who is wanted on warrant, as I take a few steps away to call for a unit to attend he makes a run for it.

    My understanding is that we do not have the power to arrest (or detain) a person wanted on warrant. One would need to have the warrant available to arrest on warrant. The usual powers of arrest "a person may arrest without warrant" apply to arrestable offences and persons unlawfully at large.

  24. THIS PCS UNION IS A JOKE.

    I am aware that the union in the Met is the PCS but I am sure that they operate like all other unions. I am in UNISON having the choice between them, GMB and T&G as the three recognised unions in South Yorkshire Police. There is always a shortage of activists willing to take on the local reps role and it is at local level that representation is most important. No union could afford enough paid officers to deal with all the issues in the work place. Here at SYP Unison represents about 800 staff, T &G perhaps 180 and GMB only about 80. We have some 20 Branch Officers & stewards, the T&G 3 and GMB 1.So a lot of workplaces have no trade union rep on sight.Consequently our Branch Secretary, who is on full time secondment from her job with the Force, has to deal with all manner of items which would be better dealt with at local workplace. I am Branch Treasurer and steward for PCSOs & traffic wardens at Sheffield Central. However since no one from the admin side will stand for office I represent them as well. I then find that operational staff from across the Force will seek out either me or the PCSO steward at Sheffield North for advice because they feel we will understand. This despite the fact that we both hold Supervisory posts.(You would think this would be a conflict of interests but the members continue to elect us each year) My advise would be to get organised. Get one of your number elected as steward so that one of your own can represent you. You union will arrange training and your employer must grant reasonable time for such training.

  25. We are able to claim the cost of an eye test back from the constabulary every two years. We also get £60 towards specs or contacts if they are needed. Can not remember if this is taxable or not.

    The VDU regulations which govern the H&S aspects of computer use talk about "users". "Users "are entitled to eye checks at the expense of their employer. There is no requirement for the provision of glasses but some employers offer free or subsidised glasses to VDU users who need them. The definition of "user" is usually one who spends as substantial part of each work day working on a VDU. I take this to mean on average more than 50% of the normal working day. So I do not think this would cover PCSOs. There is the question of the provision of prescription glasses to those at risk of assault. Here in South Yorkshire the Force will arrange for the supply free of charge of suitable single vision glasses to operational staff including PCSOs. These are plastic lenses and robust frames.You have to pay for your own eye test for these. Being very short sighted and having to spent lots of money on l glasses I do wear the force issue specs when on patrol.The Force does not pay compensation for damage to ones own specs because they will supply safe alternatives free of charge.

  26. As PCSO's are we entitled to two days in lieu because a public holiday falls on rest day or does the fact we did not work sat/sun mean that we are not entitled to the two days in lieu?

    There is no doubt that if a bank/public/general holiday falls on a rest day you get the rest day back. If you are required to work on a general/public/bank holday you receive pay for the hours worked plus time off at a later date. This is why some people claim they are on double or even triple time. This is not the case as you are paid if not required to work and have the day off. So the only gain from working BH is the additional pay at plain time. If you work more than a normal shift you receive double time in complete recompence for hours outside the normal shift. These are the national conditions in the PSC handbook. However you may have abetter local agreement. We (Unision SYP) have just negotiated that staff working a general/bank/public holiday may agree with line managers to take time and pay as per the national agreement or double time pay or double time off.

  1. When issuing a PND do we have to caution?

    My understanding is that when issuing a PND you must caution.(This was confirmed by recent training.) You also need to caution when reporting a driver/keeper for an untaxed vehicle.(Local DVLA claim to have lost cases because the driver/keeper was not cautioned.) In respect of endorsable and non endarsable FPNs for traffic offences the advice I have recieved is conflicting. Either there is no need because the notice is issued for an absolute offence so all replies are only mitigation rather than defence or you should caution in order that any reply can be made under caution as with other offences. When issuing parking type FPNs for such offences I caution for those which are endorsable (pedestriam crossing and dangerous position) but not usualy for waiting etc. offences. Additionally if reporting for an offence such as dangerous position (rather than issuing a fixed penalty) you must give the Notice of Intended Prosectution. The reason for not giving the NIP if issuing an FP is because the FP is a clear indication of the intention to prosecute.

  2. In our force we have been told that we are NOT to use powers of arrest and face the sack if we do

    With regard to the threat of the sack for carrying out a lawful act I would be interested to see the outcome of the Employment Tribunal on that one. One has the power as a citizen to make arrests for those offences for which "a person may arrest without warrant". It would be unlawful for one to be dismissed for carrying out a lawful act. It would require a disciplinary hearing to find one guilty of gross misconduct for a dismissal to be lawful. (Gross missconduct includes such things as fighting with other members of staff, racist language,harassment, failure to follow reasonable & lawful orders,drunkeness at work, flagrant failure to follow H&S guidelines, theft etc) I do not see how making a citizens arrest falls into this area of conduct in so far as employment law goes. A Force may have a policy which prevent a PCSO from transporting a prisoner but that does not mean to say that one could not "arrest" as a citizen. Any normal member of the public detaining a person caught committing an arrestable offence would normally send for the Police who would make a formal arrest and transport the prisoner. I see no difference here.( Most people in such circumstances do not even realise they have made an arrest) If this threat to "sack" has in fact been made in the terms described I recommend that you contact you union wh can give legal advice. What next- the sack for using reasonable force to defend yourself or another?

  3. I am female PCSO. A PC arrived and asked me to search one of female's bag as he was a male officer.

    Clearly we do not have the power to search in such circumstances unless also designated as a Detention Officer or Escort Officer who has been given authority to search by the Chief Officer . This is not an option which has been made much use of. However in the case as described one could reasonably rely on the "assisting a Constable in the execution of his/her duty" as defence. I have little doubt that any disciplinary charge could be successfully defended in such a case provided that the action had been carried out in good faith and in the belief that the Constable was acting within his/her authority. The female members of my team have on occasion searched people within the cell area on the instruction and under the supervision of either the arresting officer or Custody Officer. With regard to any disciplinary action for acts outside a PCSOs formal powers: As I have said previously on this site provided you act reasonably and lawfully you should not face any disciplinary action. Anything that is lawful for an ordinary Citizen is also lawful for a PCSO. Having said that it is equally true that one should not face action for neglect of duty if one chooses not to act outside the formal powers of a PCSO. If in doubt consult your union. UNISON would be my choice.

  4. Could a PCSO get "promoted" ?

    I can tell you a little about S.Yorks. Supervisors' shoulder slides read "Police Community Support Supervisor Traffic"and we are also issued with a single metal bar like those of a Special Section Officer. Breast badges also include the word "Supervisor". As to paper work. Clearly any supervisory role requires some paper work including reports, staff assessments etc. In my case I am heavily involved with a variety of meetings,committees and projects on the District and these in turn lead to more paper work. When I was Traffic Warden Manager I spent less time out than I do now but then I had 25 staff rather than the 7 I have now. I would say that on days I spend a lot of time in meetings and on staff welfare and planning issues but on afternoons I am out of the office for at least half of the shift. I believe that some of our other Supervisors are less involved at District level and get to spend more time out and about.

  5. Can PCSOs ride on railways when on duty ?

    Hi Folks I am not aware of any agreement with the rail companies regarding travel. Here in South Yorkshire we have a formal agreement with all the bus companies and Supertram (a mass transit light rail system operating in Sheffield) that Police Staff on duty (PCSOs,Traffic Wardens etc.) can travel free in uniform or on production of ID card. The bus & tram operators feel that this arrangement gives added security to their staff & passengers. Indeed members of my team have ridden the tram at the request of the operator to discourage unacceptable behaviour by school kids. Police Officers can travel free either on or off duty on production of warrant card. However this obliges them to act if trouble occures and I know several who prefer to pay rather than be identified when off duty. Obviously a Constable is always a Constable but a PCSO only has powere when in uniform. This is the reason why the arrangemnts differ for Police Officers & Police Staff. I would say that without a proper agreement one should pay for public transport and if on duty claim the cost back in the usual way.

  6. The Police Federation continue to be scathing of PCSO recruitment and powers

    I think we are all well aware of the Police Federation's views on PCSOs. It is of no surprise to me that the Feds reps were scathing. Personally I have no problems with the many Officers of the Federated Ranks I have worked with over many years but in the abstract they do not agree with PCSOs. It was just the same when I was a Traffic Warden & I know many have a low opinion of Specials,detention officers, front desk staff etc. The top and bottom of it is that Police Staff are doing a "Bobbies" job even though for the most part they are the jobs the sworn staff do not want to do. As a Sgt. said to me on Saturday as I was organising traffic control at a football match on his behalf- "Nothing personal against you Glyn but don't you think we should have 12,000 more bobbies instead of 20,000 more PCSOs?" My reply was simple "Yes but its not going to happen-even if it did the public would still complain that you were invisible" The truth of the matter is that PCSOs are providing what the full constable cannot or will not- high visibility,proactive patrol work. My view is that the demands placed on Constables are such that there can be no general return to Dixon of Dock Green but that PCSOs (& street wardens) can fill that gap. So do not be too concerned about the Federation's views they are just being good Trade Unionists (although they would hate to be called that) and trying to defend their members'jobs. I am afraid that they will not win the fight against Mr Blunket.

  7. If I make an arrest under the "any person powers" do I need to caution?

    Regarding cautioning: If a Citizen uses his or her power to arrest a suspect they would not normally caution. However as a PCSO you would caution for those offences that your appointment gives you power to deal with. It stands to reason that cautioning a person if making a Citizens Arrest can do no harm. It would warn the suspect that you intend to use anything said as evidence. There may well be no legal requirement in the circumstances but I can see no harm in it. Regarding wrongful arrests: My view is that if you have "reasonable cause to believe" that an arrestable offence has taken place you can rely on this to defend your position. As ever one should act reasonably having due regard to the criminal law and Human Rights.

  8. Do PCSOs get increments?

    Hi All Here in South Yorkshire considerable care was taken to ensure that the salary of PCSOs (including shift allowance & weekend working money) was just less than a probationer PC on his/her first day of service. The PCSO role was evaluated using our Force Job Evaluation System which established the basic rate for the job. Then the shift allowance and weekend working was looked at. This resulted in PCSOs being required to work only one Saturday shift per month and shift times were set to meet the 12.5% criterion. This was not what the project manager at the time wanted but our Force made an understandable decision that it would be politcaly difficult for a new PCSO to be paid more than a new PC. I sat on the steering group on behalf of Unison and agreed with this. Not only did we establish a good rate for the PCSO job but we also ensured reasonable working hours. In our Force PCSOs recieve increments based on service in the same way as other Police Staff. Consequently a PCSO could be on more money than a new Probationer PC but would have more experience. So PCSOs may not initially be so much cheaper than a new PC in terms of salary but they cost much less to train. Once incremental salary increases are considered a PCSO after say 5 years service would be much cheaper than a PC with the same service. When I am next in the office I will give some indication of the SYP salary scales.

  9. How did PCSOs get launched anyway?

    Dear All I read an article in Police Magazine some time ago in which a Chief Officer indicated that ACPO & the Government had wanted to create a second line of Patrol Constables. The Federation were so anti this idea that the PCSO idea was born. The ACPO Officer indicated that in his view we were lucky that, given the Federation's attitude, CSOs had not been made a seperate force perhaps employed directly by the Government or Local Authorities. We are here to stay in one form or another.

  10. I have been issued with a protective vest, do I have to wear it?

    My view is that if you are issued with a vest you should wear it what ever your Force policy. Apart from ensuring that no claim that you contibuted to any injury sustained through not wearing the protective equipment issued you may save yourself from death or injury. Looking at the compensation issue the courts take many factors into consideration when making awards. The adequacy of the employer's risk assessments,training and control measures will often form part of any claim for negligence.However money is no compensation for the loss of a loved one. I am sure that forces have risk assessments which are suitable as they would be in breach of the law if not. How well these are operated is often down to first line supervisors but everyone has a responsibility in this area. If you are not happy with any H&S issue you should raise it at once either personaly or via your union H&S Rep.(keep a record of your concern and any reply or lack of reply from management).

  11. How active is your PCS union representative?

    Do you know who he/she is? No one is ever happy with their TU Reps or the National arm of their union. However all unions are made up of MEMBERS and it is for those members to demand and require changes if they do not feel that THEIR union is representing them. I can only speak about my own union and branch. I am an active rep although I hold a supervisory/management position within the Force. There are many times when I am disappointed with the results I and we as a Branch get but I am convinced that things would be worse without us. Unison is organised in all the Police Forces in England & Wales and has a regional Police structure. (I am on the Yorkshire & Humberside Police Sector Committee) As well as a National Police Sector Committee and a full time National Officer dealing with Police Staff issues (Ben Priestly) What is often difficult for members to come to terms with is that the vast majority of Reps. have full time days jobs and work for the Members as an extra. In the South Yorkshire Police Branch our Secretary is on full time secondment and paid by the Force and there are about 12 unpaid Reps./Shop Stewards to represent some 800 members. We should have many more Reps. but unfortunately many people are unwilling to take the responsibility which goes with the job. Interestingly several of our Branch Reps. hold supervisory/management roles with the Force. Perhaps this is an indication that they realise how important it is that in an organisation dominated by Police Officers, Police Staff need representing. I hear all the time "What is The Union doing about...?". My question is what are you (THE MEMBERS) doing? It is your Union after all. Stand for election, take part in meetings and represent your own and your work mates views. Unity is Strength.

  12. HEY! how about starting a national PCSOs federation ?

    I have been in Unison (& its forerunner NALGO) since joining the South Yorkshire Police in 1985. In common with most of those employed in operational roles I see the need for union backing. As such I have been active as a Unison rep and Branch Treasurer.Here at SYP many of our reps are in the front line areas of work. Control Rooms,Traffic Wardens,Detention Officers.PCSOs.Warrant officers My feeling is that there is no point in sitting back and asking "what is the union doing" you need to get involved. PCSOs should have there own reps but this will only happen if those in the role stand for election. I can tell you that I have already had to represent a PCSO at a disciplinary hearing. The charges were such that he could have been dismissed but representaion ensure a fair hearing which resulted in a final written warning on each of the twio charges.

  13. Should one of the PCSOs on team be made a "Supervisor PCSO" ?

    Here in South Yorkshire each of our teams (6xPCSO) has a Supervisor PCSO. The way in which this role works is dependent on local circumstances as well as the character,knowlege and experience of the post holder. In my case I am left to run the team with only general instructions from management. This is exactly how I was left to manage the traffic wardens in the past. My own qualifications for this role include NEBSM Certificate in Supervisory Management and the Certificate in Management from the Chartered Management Institute (This is the basic qualification required for newly appointed Inspectors in SYP). Additionally I hold the Certificate in Personnel Practice. More importantly I have supervised and managed operational staff(Traffic wardens) since 1997. My District commander is happy to let me organise and direct the team .Although I have an Inspector to act as my line manager he leaves me to get on with the job and we may not see each other for weeks on end. This works well & my view is that we need to have one of our own to run the show. No matter how capable a police officer is he or she will always find it difficult to grasp the difference in dealing with Police (Support) Staff.

  14. I am a member of national-PCSOs and have just received an email from SKY NEWS inviting me onto a program to be interviewed. Can I do that?

    I can understand why people are reluctant to speak. Generally one speaks to the media as a result of a request from the Force press office so it is clear that it is OK to speak. If one is speaking as a private citizen again there is no problem. The issue arises where ones comments can be regarded as being in an official capacity but without authorisation. This depends on the Force or Chief’s view and general policy. I suggest that those who are interested check Force policy just in case they are asked to speak Part of the problem for people here is that they are being approached not as private citizens and not as employees but as contributors to National PCSOs. It is not therefore clear on whose behalf they are responding. As UNISON Branch Secretary I speak to the press without reference to the Force Press Office or our Chief. The Federation do likewise. It would be extremely difficult for the Force to try to prevent us from doing this even though we are paid by them because it would be seen as an attempt to stifle free speech. So all in all I do not think there is a definitive answer. People must react as they feel is right for them. I could suggest that your union branch officers could speak without any risk as they would be speaking in that capacity rather than as employees of the force. They would make this clear at the time of making comment. click on this line for a fuller explantion if needed

This site is unofficial, it is not owned or approved by any Police Force. If you wish to go to the official site, please click here



  national-PCSOs






  F A Q