Looking to give something back to your community? Do you like variety every day and meeting new people? A career as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) could be for you.
Avon and Somerset Police is seeking to recruit new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to work in the heart of the community.
PCSOs contribute to the policing of neighbourhoods, visibly patrolling and reassuring local people and working with partner agencies to solve local concerns and problems.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “Since PCSOs were introduced in 2002, they have made a real impact. At a time where the services required of the police have changed and grown, PCSOs have continued to provide a visible presence on the streets, working with local people, businesses and partners.
“We want to encourage people from all backgrounds in towns and villages across our force area, to apply. Our communities are becoming more diverse and for us to be truly effective, we need to represent all communities, whatever their faith, sexuality, ethnicity or disability.”
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “PCSOs make a real difference to local communities. They help promote community safety and reduce the fear of crime with their proactive and visible presence. I continually hear considerable praise for our PCSOs from residents and I hope many more people consider this career within the police family.
“Avon and Somerset Police is particularly encouraging applications from diverse backgrounds. It’s essential that your police service represents the communities it serves.”
Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Representative Workforce Lead, Esther Wride, is offering guidance for people from under-represented groups who are interested in becoming a PCSO. This can be people with disabilities, BME or lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities.
Esther said: “We want to be an attractive employer for everyone. People from diverse backgrounds who have cultural and language skills benefit us in every way, making us more innovative, capable and inclusive and ultimately, to help us to provide a better service to local people.
“We’re here to provide guidance from any of our under-represented communities thinking of becoming PCSO. You can contact us at:
Applications open on Monday 22 May at 9.00am and close on Thursday 8 June at 5.00pm.
You will be able to apply at https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/about-us/recruitment/police-community-support-officers-(pcsos)/
Avon and Somerset Police is holding a live online question and answer session on Facebook on Thursday 25th May 6pm – 6.30pm. An expert panel will be ready to answer any questions potential applicants have about the PCSO role or the recruitment process in general. Join the Q&A at www.facebook.com/avonandsomersetpolice
People can also send their questions in advance by sending us a private Facebook message or using the hashtag #ASPoliceQ on Twitter.
Silas Noble has been a PCSO for the past four years. He is based at Trinity Police Station.
“I became a PCSO because I wanted the opportunity to work with different people within communities. I also really enjoy solving problems. Being a PCSO gives me the chance to work with my colleagues and other partners to come up with solutions for people in our community who need support.
The recruitment process was very straight forward, although it is very thorough so it can take a long time to get from your first application to actually beginning your training.
The recruitment team was very supportive and happy to talk me through any part of the application process that I was unsure about so that made me feel a lot more confident.
PCSO training was brilliant, we had a very supportive trainer, and we all encouraged each other. We learnt what we can and can’t do as PCSOs and how to handle different, and difficult, situations.
I really enjoy my job and am extremely proud of what we achieve. I enjoy supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our local communities. We also play an important role in identifying and helping to prevent crime.
There is not one particular type of person that make a good PCSO – we all have families, we all come from communities and so we all have something to bring to the job.
The role is really appreciated across the force and senior teams are very supportive of the work we do and the contribution we make.
I am really proud of the job that I do. "
Adriana has been a PCSO for 9 years. She spent 8 years working inEaston and more recently has moved to Bridewell Police Station in the city centre.
“Joining the police has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. So when I came to the UK from Poland I was happy to hear that Avon and Somerset Police needed Polish officers to join the force. The recruitment process was quite long, but there was a lot of support available that made it easier to complete.
I’ve always wanted to help people and enjoy getting to know the individuals and communities where I work. It’s also very satisfying to be able to put people in touch with organisations and groups that can support them - for example helping homeless people find accommodation or letting them know where they can have a meal.
The best part of the job is being part of the local community, building people’s trust and finding ways of helping people in need. The feeling when you see how people’s lives have turned around is amazing.
Of course there are challenges, not everyone agrees with what we do or how we do it. And people have different expectations of how we should be spending our time. But learning to deal with that is part of the job. And you always have the support of the rest of your team which really helps.
I think the most important quality you need as a PCSO is empathy for other people, being able to understand their situation and treating every person as a human being."
Posted on Friday 19th May 2017