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Police community support officers (PCSO’s) support police officers in their daily tasks. They always work on the very frontline of crime prevention and deterrence. Their main role is to walk a beat, particularly in highly populated areas or areas with a history of crime and be visible. In being present their aim is to discourage activities of crime and the criminals themselves.
PCSO’s are there in a secondary state to reassure the local community that there is a strong police presence and any activities that are criminal in their nature will be dealt with efficiently and effectively. PCSO’s also aid any local residents who may be having problems or difficulties. This can range from giving directions to the lost or investigating reports of battery from a neighbour.
PCSO’s directly target anti-social behaviour; this is done by patrolling a set beat and interacting with the public who may be able to help them with information. PCSO’s also help at large scale events (sports, concerts) and aid police officers.
PCSO’s can charge minor offences, intervene in threatening situations and carry out house to house enquiries. This role requires great responsibility and is a key tool for the police force as a whole. Becoming a PCSO is also seen as the best way to enter the police force full time.