Police bid to recruit community officers

POLICE in Suffolk have today stepped up their efforts to recruit additional police community support officers (PCSOs) as part of efforts to roll out neighbourhood policing.

POLICE in Suffolk have today stepped up their efforts to recruit additional police community support officers (PCSOs) as part of efforts to roll out neighbourhood policing.

The force is hoping to have 142 PSCOs by the end of March and, according to the constabulary's risk register, faces a potential delay in implementing Safer Neighbourhood Teams if it fails in its efforts.

A national recruitment campaign was launched last week and is running alongside Suffolk police's own enrollment scheme, with information events and poster campaigns across the county.

Sergeant Sally Gallant, assisting with the recruitment project in Suffolk, said she was optimistic the force would meet its target.


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She said: “We will implement neighbourhood policing anyway but might not be able to staff it as well as we want to initially.

“We will get there though. Whatever it takes, we will achieve it.”

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She added that the campaign was gaining momentum and that 21 candidates had successfully got through the assessment stage of application at the end of July and another 18 on Monday . They will now go on to be interviewed.

Many of the forces PCSOs have already recorded successes, including Brian Huckle, a PCSO in Felixstowe, who recognised a description of a man believed to have a firearm and the offender was dealt with for carrying a ball bearing gun.

Jade Palmer, based in Ipswich, also helped run the Partnership Priority Area (PPA) in Old Stoke which was aimed at reducing crime and improving health and wellbeing in the area.

Sgt Gallant added: “It is still quite a new role and people still don't quite understand what it entails. You can do it part time and we have flexible working practices. If people are dyslexic or English is not their first language we have an access programme to get them to a level where they can get through the selection process.

“PSCOs can be deployed in their own community and we are looking for community minded people.”

For more information about becoming a PSCO call the force's recruitment line on 01473 613640.

More information will also be available at a Quality of Life event in Victory Park, Leiston from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, September 2.

Weblink: www.suffolk.police.uk/Join+Our+Team+Officers/

Panel - PCSOs in Suffolk have the power to:

Issue fixed penalty notices for cycling on the footway, dog fouling and litter

Confiscate alcohol in designated public places

Confiscate alcohol and tobacco from young people

Remove abandoned vehicles

Seize vehicles used to cause alarm

Enter to save life or limb or prevent serious damage to property

Carry out road checks

Use certain powers under the Terrorism Act

Stop vehicles for the purpose of testing

Regulate traffic for the purpose of escorting abnormal loads

Carry out the functions of traffic wardens.

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