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Police community support officer

Police community support officers (PCSOs) work in a neighbourhood policing team dealing with minor offences and crime prevention.

Potential salary
£17,500 to £23,250
Working hours
39 to 41 a week
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • customer service skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • leadership skills
  • negotiation skills
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of psychology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your work will vary from one day to another, but will usually include:

  • going on highly-visible foot and cycle patrols
  • offering advice on crime prevention
  • dealing with anti-social behaviour alongside neighbourhood wardens and community action teams
  • talking with young people and visiting schools
  • building links with businesses and community leaders
  • guarding crime scenes and detaining suspects until a police officer arrives
  • making house visits to reassure people and gather intelligence
  • issuing fixed penalty notices
  • providing support at large public gatherings, such as sports events and public demonstrations

You may need to wear a uniform.

You could work in the community or on a patrol.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

There is no formal route from PCSO to police officer, but the training and experience you gain could help you if you want to move into this role.

You could also use your experience to mentor and train new PCSOs.

You can find out more about the role of police community support officer from the College of Policing.

Data from National Careers Service.
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20th October 2020