They strive to make our communities safer and stronger yet perform one of the most demanding roles in the modern police force.
PCSOs don’t have powers of arrest and they don’t carry handcuffs or a baton. They rely on their ability to understand and communicate with some of the most challenging people in some of the most difficult situations.
As a result we're looking for special qualities.
Have you got what it takes?
Put yourself in the shoes of a PCSO. These are some of the issues you may have to resolve:
How would you deal with a group of binge drinkers dancing in the street?
What would you do to re-build the confidence of an elderly couple who were burgled last week?
How would you handle young people using a shopping centre as an indoor cycle track?
PCSOs work within neighbourhood policing teams helping to solve local issues by getting out in the community, meeting people and offering advice and support to people who live and work in the neighbourhood.
PCSOs deal with minor offences and support front-line policing. They do not make arrests, conduct interviews, deal with prisoners or investigate serious crime. PCSOs go out on solo patrols which means they will be expected walk their areas alone.
What can you expect?
As a PCSO you can expect to:
Go on highly visible solo foot patrols
Support Community Policing Teams to solving local problems
Make house visits to gather intelligence and offer public reassurance after minor crimes or anti-social behaviour
Get involved with key people in the community, such as community, religious and business leaders
Work with Community Watch, Neighbourhood Watch, Business Watch, Pub Watch, Farm Watch and Horse Watch schemes
Protect crime scenes until police officers arrive
Collect CCTV evidence
Provide low-level crime prevention and personal safety advice
Carry out low-level missing person enquiries
Act as professional witnesses, attending court when needed
Support crime prevention
Engage with youths
Interact with schools
Support the mobile police station
Hours and salary
Essex Police PCSOs work 37 hours per week full time (on occasion part time vacancies arise so we are happy to consider applications from candidates wishing to work Part Time).
Starting salary is £21,135 per annum although PCSOs are entitled to a shift allowance of around 12.5 per cent once they have completed their initial training.
The exact allowance depends on shift pattern and the division they work in.
Are you eligible to apply?
Personal (All must apply)
I'm an EEA or Swiss National*.
I've lived in the UK continuously for the last 3 years
Be over the age of 18. However you can make an application at the age of 17 and progress through the recruitment and selection process, you will not however receive a formal offer of employment until you have turned 18
Possess a full UK manual driving license with no more than 6 points.
I don't have any tattoos or piercings which cause offence, are excessive or deemed unprofessional.
I'm not registered bankrupt or subject to CCJs or IVAs (IVAs will be considered on a case by case basis).
Any previous criminal convictions or cautions (including those spent), fixed penalty notices, traffic offences or any involvement with the police must be declared and they may affect your application.
No formal qualifications are required.
However, applicants will need to pass all elements of the recruitment and selection process to a level we're satisfied with.
Health and Fitness
PCSOs may encounter stressful situations, trauma, physical confrontation and work long hours on a variable shift pattern.
They need to be resilient enough to cope with the demands and pressures of the role so applicants should be in good health mentally and physically.
You will undergo a medical examination to ensure you meet the health standards required, including eyesight.
Take a look at the medical standards for more information about some of the conditions that can exclude you and those that are acceptable.
2 stage assessment
Biometrics clearance (fingerprints and DNA taken during Pre-Employment Checks)
Professional Standards Questionnaire (completed during Pre-Employment Checks)