Are you sure you want to be a PC? Really? REALLLLY?
Just out of curiosity what do you think the average dayshift / evening shift entails for a PC?
Is this a good idea to become a PCSO to gain experience for then to apply for a PC role or would it best volunteering for that police force's specials when they are recruiting?
Yes, Either. You also get access to the internal vacancies/recruitment.
As you will have found applying to the police for a job is less about qualifications and more about life experience and tell us a bout a time when yu demonstrated resilience,leadership did x, did y, did z. What better role than a PCSO or SPC to encounter relevant situations to first of all develop and then demonstrate the appropriate responses.
This is why youngsters rarely get in, most of our new starters are 23+
Also, is it common for PCSOs to then move into being a PC and if so, how much service do you usually see them doing before moving up?
Ive known PCSOs do 3 weeks before moving on (obviously they had an application in when they started as a PCSO) to PCSOS and SCs having 6-9 years service before moving on to PC.Personally I'd like to see a PCSO minimum tenure of 3 years and then an eased passage to PC for those who want it. That way the force gets value out of the PCSO role and you get great experience. I'm still learning 5 years in.
To be honest of 30 or so PCSOs I currently work with 4 have ambitions of being a PC, 2 have little chance and they struggle with the PCSO role. in the 5 years I have been a PCSO i know 5 PCSOs who have made the change, 1 of whom wishes he hadn't and another who left after becoming a PC, 2 are probationers.
Being a PCSO is a cracking role, so much more freedom than being a PC. Many of my PCSO team started with ambition of becoming PC and have either seen the role for what it is and thought better, become disillusioned with the "police" or the general public or just genuinely enjoy the PCSO role.
It certainly changes your perceptions and beware it will change you as a person.