Monday, 21 April 2008
Special Police Constables versus PSCO’s
Special Police Constables give up their time to voluntarily police their local communities on a part time basis.
The Home Office website says:
“Special constables are part-time volunteer officers who have all the same powers as regular police officers.
Volunteering to be a Special gives you the chance to give something back to your community while learning new and useful life skills. You'll provide a vital link between regular police officers and the community at large and enjoy all the same powers. So, if you've got at least four hours a week to spare, why not give it a try?”
PSCO’s have limited police powers and depending on their role may be able to:
• detain someone until a constable arrives
• direct traffic and remove vehicles
• issue fixed penalty notices for anti-social behaviour
So Special Constables are purely voluntary and can only work part time, but have all the powers of a police officer. PSCO’s however, are none of these things.
It makes you wonder therefore why, over the last couple of years, there has been criticism that Police Community Support Officer’s (PSCO) have taken over the role of Special Constables in the community. Special Constables are not only more financially viable, but are also from the communities where they live and have more powers than PSCO’s.
Devon and Cornwall Police say that it is more difficult to recruit Special Constables. Supt Barry Frost said :
"They are as valued now as they always have been," he told BBC News.
"The whole make up of society has changed and it's very, very difficult to recruit people of the right ilk to become specials because most people have very busy, professional lives."
CPW don’t think it’s just that Barry, but believe that people have become more disillusioned with the police and want to get paid for meeting targets.
Working in the Police
Posted by Rhisiart at 21:11