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Police Community Support Officers - Your Opinion watch

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    Hi, Im a third year Criminology student conducting some initial research into PCSOs in the community, looking at effectiveness and thier relationship with the police force and the general public.
    I would be most grateful if you could take the time to seriously answer some questions to provide an insight.
    Many Thanks


    Please copy the questions into your response and reply below, if unsure or you do not know please state this in your reply.

    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    (please explain)

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    (please give details)

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    (please explain)


    [
    This is just a questionnaire of your opinions on policing
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    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)

    Yes, giving at least four hours to patrolling the streets a week

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)

    After initial training that have all the powers a normal police officer.

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)

    Radio.

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)

    Yes. The more police on the street the greater the effect on preventing crime and possibly reducing it too.

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    (please explain)

    I haven't personally seen any of them on the street but then again I live in a sheltered area.

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    (please give details)


    sorry ^^

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    (please explain)


    Definitely. Especially dealing with riotous youths.
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    BTW what is criminology like? I would love to study it but I'm going to study computer science instead (just about to go to Southampton ). Criminology was my second choice
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    Can't vouch for the accuracy of any of this, but it is at least my opinion.

    (Original post by suzie101)
    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)
    As far as I know, assisting police in their duties and providing support where a regular police officer with powers of arrest might not be required, i.e. directing traffic, crowd control, recording details of offences etc.

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)
    Not much more than any other citizen. As I understand it, they have no power of arrest, no right to take down anyone's details, no authority to take part in a pursuit. But they can make a citizen's arrest or report an offence to the police and call for support from them.

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)
    Radio, as far as I know.

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)
    If they can free up an overstretched police force by enforcing the law over minor offences such as littering, guiding traffic after an accident, enforcing parking restrictions etc, then that's useful. As for actual prevention of crime, I'm not so sure.

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    (please explain)
    Nope.

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    Not really. I pointed out to our local one that the reason the high street was gridlocked was because of an illegally parked car on double yellows, and if he himself felt unable to move it on, then he ought to call someone who could. But then he's famously useless and used to be a traffic warden.

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    Yes.
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    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)

    Building links between the community and the police force, particularly in troubled areas, mediating disputes that occur in communities, assisting PCs in cases where community knowledge is important. I think that's it anyway . . .

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)

    I don't think they have the power of arrest? That's all I really know.

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)

    I don't think they can carry batons or other weaponry so that they provide a more non-offensive presence, but I don't really know.

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)

    I think that they have probably have a positive effect, simply because regular PCs are too tied up in paperwork to have the time to develop serious community bonds. However that effect could be replicated by just making PCs take over the roles of PCSOs and cutting paperwork.

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    (please explain)

    No, not personally, but I've always lived in a safe suburb until relatively recently. However, I do think that PCSOs have probably made the country safer to a limited extent.

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    (please give details)

    One told me to get out of the way when she was on a bike and I was crossing the road, that's about it.

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    (please explain)

    Yes. Good policing isn't just about rolling up in hi-vis jackets with the blues 'n' twos blaring after a crime has been committed, it's about ensuring that a community doesn't get into a situation where crime is a regular occurrence, and that necessitates regular police presence on the ground to build community links.
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    (Original post by readingr)
    After initial training that have all the powers a normal police officer.
    No they don't.

    They don't have the same powers of arrest that a normal police officer has.

    In fact I don't think they have any powers of arrest beyond "citizens arrest" - something we all have.

    This is what leads many to call them "about as useful as a chocolate fireguards).

    Police Special Constables, normal members of the public who volunteer as special constables in their own time, have far more powers than PCSO have. And they are volunteers (they don't get paid!).

    The powers of a PCSO involve mainly confiscating alcohol and tobacco products when approrpiate. Controlling traffic. Removing abandoned vehicles and stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act.
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    Not much more than any other citizen. As I understand it, they have no power of arrest, no right to take down anyone's details, no authority to take part in a pursuit. But they can make a citizen's arrest or report an offence to the police and call for support from them.
    That's actual one of the things they can do. They can take down details (names and addresses) from people suspected of having commited a road traffic offence, an anti-social behaviour offence, is in possession of a controlled substace or a number of other similar/related offences.
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    (Original post by River85)
    No they don't.

    They don't have the same powers of arrest that a normal police officer has.

    In fact I don't think they have any powers of arrest beyond "citizens arrest" - something we all have.

    This is what leads many to call them "about as useful as a chocolate fireguards).

    Police Special Constables, normal members of the public who volunteer as special constables in their own time, have far more powers than PCSO have. And they are volunteers (they don't get paid!).

    The powers of a PCSO involve mainly confiscating alcohol and tobacco products when approrpiate. Controlling traffic. Removing abandoned vehicles and stop and search powers under the Terrorism Act.
    Ok I stand corrected. I checked on their website and you are right but its a survey so I hope I've helped >.>
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    (Original post by River85)
    Police Special Constables, normal members of the public who volunteer as special constables in their own time, have far more powers than PCSO have. And they are volunteers (they don't get paid!).
    I wasn't even aware there was a difference. Thought they were the same thing.

    I do know one PCSO in Lincolnshire who said people didn't have to provide him with their details, but it may vary between forces.

    Police Constable Shaped Object
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    (Original post by suzie101)
    ...
    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? Talking to people instead of acting?

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? No firearms or batons.

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? No. Their presence is more a mockery of the Police, and probably provokes people to try their luck and see what they can get away with when a PCSO arrives - most people know/think all a PCSO can do is ring the Police, which is what any other person would do.

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    No. I've never seen a PCSO do anything apart from walk away from trouble - and I live in Manchester City Centre and see fights/public sex/drug dealing in the Cathedral Gardens outside my window. All PCSOs do is look then walk off briskly to never come back.

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    Yes. They didn't do anything about the fight going on outside my building, but mumbled something about responsibility and liability and walked off.

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    Police, yes. Special Constables, yes. I'd feel more comfortable to see real police forces "on the beat" instead of wannabe police officers who are dressed up members of the public that can stop traffic and give out fixed penalty notices.

    PCSOs? No. Waste of money, ineffective and laughable.
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    (Original post by suzie101)
    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)
    They usually form part of a neighbourhood police team (with local constables, sergeants and inspector).

    They are there to assist with front line policing and take away some of the more routine tasks away from front line officers.

    Building links in their community, creativing a low level but common presence. As part of the wider Neighbourhood police team focusing on education and prevention of crime in the local community as much as reducing it.

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)
    Covered some of that above.

    No powers of arrest (beyond what a normal citizen has).

    Can take down details of people suspected of having commited certain offences.

    Can remove abandoned vehicles

    Can stop and search under the terrorism act in certain circumstances (and when supervised).

    Control traffic

    Issue fixed penalties

    Confiscate alcohol.

    Enter premises to prevent potential damage to property or loss of life.

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)
    Erm, little self-protection equipment although I believe stab vests are available.

    Some use handcuffs. I think I've seen Transport Police CSOs use them.

    I imagine they would have some first aid kit (and training).

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)
    I'm not as critical of them as some people are. I believe they do have a role to play.

    Ideally I'd want there to be a situation when they weren't needed and we had plenty of special constables around. But, although I appear numbers have risen again in recent years, if people aren't volunteering then this obviously isn't going to happen.

    But I'd hate to see an over-reliance on them as I really don't.

    More community based policing, with constrables, sergeantsand PCSOs at the very heart, can help to reduce crime. Just by being a presence, showing that the police aren't all power crazes monsters, listening to the local concerns of local people and then working with local authorities to help alleviate such problems.

    I know of certain cases when neighbourhood police teams, including PCSOs, have been able to lobby local councils for more play areas and fnding in youth activites and that this has had a slight reducion in disorder.

    But as mentioned, an over-reliance on PCSCOs alone won't get us anywhere.

    A PCSO can come along and confiscate alcohol from a group of kids, but can't do anything else, so the next day the kids are just back again.

    I've even known of times when youths have openly mocked PCSOs knowing that that have little power.

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    (please explain)
    Don't feel any less safe or more safe.

    Don't see CSOs all that often but, even again, I don't live in an area where crime is a high concern (except the usual teenage holiganism at times).

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    (please give details)
    Nope. Not direct experience anyway. Although I have some experience of neighbourhood teams.

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    (please explain)
    I believe that police can best do their job when out on the streets, yes.

    I've already covered education and community work earlier. I'll try and develop later if I have time.
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    (Original post by Jez RR)
    I wasn't even aware there was a difference. Thought they were the same thing.
    What, PCSOs and Special Constables?

    Special constrables have been around for years. They are members of the public who volunteer a number of hours a week. They have protection equipment (including batons and possible CS spray) and also have handcuffs.

    PCSOs were introduced under New LAbour, 2002 I think, and are actually paid, non-warranted officers but in many respects have less power :p: THey don't have much protection equipment or, for most forces, handcuffs.

    My father arrested a few people during his time as a Special in the 1980s. And got jumped on as well bless him.

    You see, as a special he was able to arrest those who attacked him. As a PCSO he wouldn't have been able to I don't think (expect the usual Citizens Arrest but this might be difficult, especially without handcuffs).
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    Do you know what a PCSO’s job involves? (Could you give a brief description)
    Not entirely sure, but I think they are there to scare people into thinking they are real police officers when seen at a distance, and tricking people into believing they have power when telling them to stop committing an offence (like anti-social).

    Do you know what powers a PCSO has? (could you give a brief description)
    I'd say they have the same powers as any other normal citizen

    Do you know what equipment a PCSO is permitted to carry? (could you give a brief description)
    Anything a normal citizen is allowed to carry

    Do you believe PCSO have had a positive effect on reducing or preventing crime? (could you please explain your answer)
    Definitely not negative, but I don't believe they have a very high positive effect either. Too many people (at least where I live) see them as normal people dressed up as police officers

    Do you feel any different in terms of safety since PCSOs have been introduced?
    Not particularly

    Have you personally had any experiences with PCSOs?
    (please give details)
    Only a few friendly chats, nothing serious

    Do you think a police presence is important on our streets?
    (please explain)
    Yes, but obviously it would be nice if they didn't abuse their power - which they often do.


    ps, was this just a questionnaire or did you actually want the real answers to these questions?
 
 
 
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