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.
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
To do a higher apprenticeship you will need 4 or 5 GCSE's at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C)
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).
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
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
- 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
£17,500 to £23,250