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Police Community Support Officers to be given more powers
POLICE Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will soon be able to detain people after being given additional powers.
PCSOs currently have 20 standard powers and 21 discretionary powers, which can be designated by a chief constable.
These include a number of fixed penalty notices for disorder that can be issued by a PCSO.
But, from Monday, September 30 they will be issued with ten additional powers, ranging from the power to detain (without the use of force), the power to search for drugs and powers relating to truancy and traffic obstruction offences.
PCSOs will also now be able to issue fixed penalty notices for a range of alcohol related offences and will be mainly based in secondary schools, as part of West Mercia Police’s Safer Schools Programme.
As part of the changes, the hours a PCSO can work are also being extended, meaning that they can be deployed until midnight if necessary.
“PCSOs are firmly established both within the police service and communities and are highly valued by both forces as a visible local presence within our safer neighbourhood teams,” said Gareth Morgan, Assistant Chief Constable and Lead for Local Policing at Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police.
“By extending their powers and hours, we are formally recognising that PCSOs can and want to play a greater role in protecting our communities from harm.
“However, while extending the powers available, I have been very conscious of the need to maintain a clear distinction between the role of a PCSO and a police officer and every safer neighbourhood team will also have a police officer.”
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