What you could be doing | Police Community Support Officers
YOU GET A REAL SENSE THAT YOU'RE A ‘GO TO’ PERSON THAT YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY TRUSTS
Police Community Support Officers
Working as a police community support officer (PCSO) involves tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in your local community. It can be demanding, but pretty exciting too, as each day brings new challenges. Your main role will be to patrol, on foot or bicycle, and ensure a highly visible presence on the streets, in all weathers.
One of our key local initiatives is the introduction of our Safer Neighbourhood Teams. Where PCSOs, PCSO supervisors, Digital PSCOs and Neighbourhood Investigation Officers work together to help build good relationships with our communities.
You’ll also work with other organisations, like local councils and housing associations, to tackle issues of concern in the community, with a focus on lower-level crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour. Along the way, you’ll work on projects to address longer-term crime problems, develop relationships with people in the local area and collect information about what’s happening on your patch.
The difference between a PCSO and a police officer
The only essential difference between the two is that PCSOs don't have powers of arrest, can’t interview or process prisoners or investigate crime and don’t get involved in the more complex and high-risk operations that police officers perform. Other than that, they play an equally worthwhile role within their community, acting both as a crime deterrent and a confidant.
What you could experience as a PCSO
Life as a PCSO is hugely varied. From community initiatives and minor offence calls, through to major incidents or immediate response calls. No two days are the same. We asked an experience PCSO what they could experience in a typical day.
My tasks for the day could be managing neighbour disputes, dealing with local community issues and problems, etc.
I start to plan my day! Then it’s time for my first cuppa!
Leave the station
My radio’s probably burst into life now, so I’ll head out on the beat.
Road traffic initiative
I’m often working with the safer neighbourhood teams or going on proactive patrols.
Out on patrol
Starting my patrol plan in the area I support. This may include agency and partner meetings to discuss local issues. Or delivering crime prevention advice to schools.
Major incident call
A major incident like Whaley Bridge may mean that we’re working with other forces. My new mobile office means that I can work wherever I am.
You’re constantly learning here, so I could have a training or refresher course booked in.
After a busy morning, it’s time for lunch or a coffee break - taken when I can.
Immediate response call
A house has been burgled within the last five minutes. We head out to support our operations colleagues.
We undertake burglary foot patrols, visit the victims and make house-to-house enquiries.
A quick brew
Time to recharge the batteries.
Back to the station
Catch up on my emails and start to review the plans for events such as Remembrance Sunday, Summer Play Days, Bonfire Night, Halloween and parades through the town.
End of shift
The end of a very rewarding and eventful day.
What makes a good PCSO?
Someone with a real commitment to helping and supporting their local community who’s interested in people and wants to know what’s going on in their area.
You could have a background in social work or housing, or have volunteered with a community organisation or charity. Maybe you’re concerned about problems you see in your local area, about opportunities for young people or about creating a safe environment for everyone.
Whilst there’s a legal and enforcement element to the role and you’ll have certain legal powers you can use, it’s your ability to develop good working relationships with a wide range of people, including those in other organisations, that will really make you stand out from the crowd.
What we can offer you
On appointment, if you have no previous police community support officer experience the starting salary is £18,531 p.a. Weekend working and shift enhancements are available depending on hours worked. Successful applicants would normally be appointed on the bottom of the salary scale and will progress, via annual increases up to £22,833 p.a.
You’ll receive 24 days paid holiday each year in addition to public holidays. We also make provision for a number of other forms of leave, including maternity, paternity and adoption leave, special leave with and without pay, carers leave and parental leave.
HOURS AND FLEXIBLE WORKING
Your will work 37 hours per week. Shift work between 8.00am and midnight, seven days a week on a rotating shift basis. Some hours either before 8.00am or after midnight may need to be undertaken to meet operational needs. You must be willing to patrol alone, including lone patrol during the hours of darkness.
We encourage flexible working that helps staff balance their working life with other commitments and interests outside of work. There’s normally a qualifying period however each case is looked at individually and on its own merits. We’ll consider all requests and try to accommodate them provided they fit in with operational demands. We strive to be a flexible employer, but we expect you to be flexible too.
The good news is that you'll be advised of your shifts in advance, allowing you to plan your work-life balance accordingly. It’s all part of our commitment to providing a healthy working environment and improving the quality of life for all our staff.
PERSONAL SUPPORT AND SERVICE
As a caring employer we provide a range of support initiatives to help with your personal welfare and that of your family. We also offer occupational health and welfare counselling that ranges from psychotherapy to financial guidance. There are a range of development and mentoring schemes available too, while membership of the Police Federation and staff associations will also help ensure that you have the support and representation you need, when you need it.
SPORTS AND SOCIAL
Our active Derbyshire Constabulary Sports Club is a hive of social and sporting activities. There's always something new to try. Whether you enjoy playing in a team, are keenly competitive or simply looking for some satisfying sport at your own level, you can choose between tournaments and team games in sports that range from rugby to snooker.
As a Sports Club member, you’ll enjoy full exclusive access to our fitness suites too, while 'Days Out' corporate tickets are also available, allowing access for you and your family into places such as Chatsworth, Twycross Zoo, White Post Farm, and many more. You can join the sports club for £5 per month. Membership’s open to police officers and police staff, both serving and retired, as well as serving members of the Special Constabulary. It's easy to join, with direct payment from salary. And, membership allows you to bring your family along with you too.
Meet some of our PCSOs
Kerry Wallington-Waite, PCSO Supervisor
I’ve been a PCSO since 2006 and won PCSO of the year in 2018. I’d always liked the idea of working in the community, making a difference and solving problems. It’s very interesting work - I’ve dealt with everything from abandoned cars to neighbour issues, school talks to crime prevention event and patrols.
My role as supervisor is relatively new and I’m still finding my feet, but I’m really enjoying the challenge. Derbyshire Constabulary really invests in it people through training and regular check ins with your manager. There are also numerous staff networks available to offer advice and support too, plus they’re family friendly regarding work life balance. I really feel that we’re cared about.
What do you need?
To apply you must be a United Kingdom, European Union or commonwealth citizen, with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided here for the three years immediately preceding your application.
You must be 18 years old at the time of offer.
You must possess a Level 2 in English and Maths, grade 9-4 or A-C as these will be required to access the national Level 4 qualification when it becomes available. You’ll also need to demonstrate strong examples of work and personal experience in order to meet the essential and desirable criteria.
You’ll need sufficient fitness to be able to patrol the streets on foot or bicycle for long periods of time and in all weather conditions. A medical assessment will make sure that you’re healthy enough to do the job and the training required. Your application will be rejected if you fail to meet the minimum acceptable medical standard for entry. Your medical history is confidential and not disclosed to those not authorised to hold this information. Assessments are carried out by our Occupational Health Team, and will check the following:
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Eye sight test
A driving licence is not an essential requirement for all PCSO roles, but will be needed in some locations. Candidates who are unable to drive will only be offered a position in city/town centre locations where the role can be carried out without the need to. Candidates need to make their own travel arrangements to get to and from work, including shifts during unsociable hours, to whichever location they are assigned to.
You must declare any previous spent and unspent convictions and have a basic background check to get Security Check level clearance.
What may hold you back?
You can't apply to become a police community support officer with us if you:
- Have been, or are, a member of a group or extreme political organisation such as BNP, National Front or Combat 18 that stirs up racial hatred and violence.
- Are awaiting to appear in court or have any serious convictions or recent cautions, bind-overs or findings of guilt.
- Misuse drugs, solvents or anabolic steroids Have tattoos on your face, neck or hands which could cause offence.
- If you have a tattoo you’ll be asked to provide description and photographs of the tattoo. The nature, location, size, prominence and appearance of tattoos will be considered.
- Have any current County Court Judgements (CCJ) against you or are the subject of an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA). If you’ve been registered bankrupt you may only apply if it is at least three years since the date your debts were discharged.
The recruitment process
At the end of each stage of the recruitment process, you’ll be notified by email whether or not you’ve been successful and are therefore eligible to proceed to the next stage. You can also log in to view your application status. If you haven’t received an email, remember to check your junk mail/filter settings in case our emails are have ended up there.
The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out an application form through our recruitment portal.
Open: 13 January 2020
Close: 23 February 2020
We use these to assess how well meet the essential skills and experience for the role.
Interview and presentation
Joining us for an assessment day at our Ripley HQ, you’ll be asked to do a short presentation and interview.
To be appointed you’ll need to complete a medical and vetting checks. We’ll also need to obtain references for the last three years.
We celebrate diversity
Our community is incredibly diverse, so we should be, too. That’s why we’re working hard to build an inclusive workforce, where you can be yourself. Whoever you are. Wherever you’re from. We are currently under-represented in a number of areas and recognise that this message needs to reach talented individuals who can add diverse skills and experiences to our organisation.
If you are black or from an ethnic minority, or if you identify as LGBT+, or have a disability, or if you are female and would like to hear more about becoming a police officer and the support we can offer you please contact us.
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