Wiltshire is only county to INCREASE number of PCSOs

Wiltshire is only county to INCREASE number of PCSOs

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 12:01pm 15th May 2020.

3 minute read

Our police force has seen the number of Police Community Support Officers go up by 14% in the last decade.

Figures from the Home Office show Wiltshire currently has 144 PCSOs patrolling the county's streets.

Every other police force in England and Wales has shown a fall in the number of those officers since 2010.

Police Community Support Officer - PCSO - Police Officers in Salisbury (Mike Draper)
PCSOs patrol Wiltshire's streets as an addition to 'regular' police officers

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard says PCSOs are really important part of the workforce: 

"Our PCSOs carry out an invaluable role within Wiltshire Police and are a key part of our Community Policing Teams. They are different to police officers, in that they do not have the same powers, but they are a vital tool when it comes to community engagement.

"Our PCSOs focus on issues such as intelligence gathering, community liaison, foot patrols and law enforcement for matters such as minor crime, antisocial behaviour and road safety, freeing up police officers to focus on the issues that require policing powers.

"We are committed to having a workforce mix within our Community Policing Teams that enables us to respond promptly and effectively to neighbourhood issues and reduce high harm and high risk in our communities."

WHAT IS A PCSO? 

According to the Government website, they 'work with police officers and share some, but not all of their powers'.

They can do things like: 

  • Give someone a fixed-penalty notice for offences like littering
  • Demand the name and address of someone being anti-social
  • Take alcohol off a person aged under 18
  • A PCSO can also ask a police officer to arrest a person
Police Community Support Officer badge - PCSO uniform (Wiltshire Police)
The PCSOs are clearly identifiable from their colleagues, wearing blue tops instead of black ones in Wiltshire

Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson said: 

"Community policing has been a priority for me throughout my time as Commissioner and despite the savings that Wiltshire Police has had to make over the past 10 years maintaining community policing has always been top of my agenda. 

"Each Force clearly has their own priorities, but here in Wiltshire, PCSOs continue to be the bedrock of local policing. They have a different role to play than police officers and by engaging with our communities and supporting those most vulnerable they continue to be the eyes and ears of our communities."

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