Home Explore Job Ideas Police Community Support Officer

Job Description

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will work alongside the police to patrol the local area and deal with minor incidents and offences. They will support and provide assistance to the police and give a visible presence in the area to reassure the general public and help prevent crime.  Other duties could include directing traffic, offering advice on crime prevention, dealing with anti-social behaviour, providing support at events and other large gatherings.

Entry Requirements

Local police forces will set their own entry requirements but you can normally get into the role through a higher apprenticeship or by applying directly

Apprenticeship

To do a higher apprenticeship you will need 4 or 5 GCSE's at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) 

Direct Application

You can apply directly to your local force to become a Police Community Support Officer and often don't need formal qualifications but you will have to complete some basic health, fitness and security checks in order to prove your eligibility.

You’ll need a good level of spoken and written English and some police forces may ask for English GCSE at grade 4 (C).

Career Tips

Great value is placed on personal qualities and character, especially:

  • the ability to remain calm under pressure
  • tolerance and empathy combined with firmness

It may be helpful if you have experience of community work or you've worked as a special constable.

Each police force has its own selection process. This will usually involve:

  • written tests
  • an interview
  • an interactive test to see how you work with other people

If you pass the tests, you'll then have a medical and full background security checks.

Follow the links to your local police force for further details

Norfolk Police

Suffolk Police

Career Path and Progression

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Police officer
  • Civil enforcement officer
  • Criminal intelligence analyst
  • Fingerprint officer
  • Neighbourhood warden

Required Skills

  • Excellent listening and communication skills
  • the ability to make decisions and keep calm in difficult situations
  • good team working abilities
  • flexibility, tolerance and empathy
  • assertiveness and good powers of observation
  • ability to deal with difficult people and situations

Starting Salary

£17,500 to £23,250

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