PCSO model will look to increase local engagement across Sussex
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Today (Monday, November 4) sees the launch of a named PCSO for every community in Sussex Police.
The enhanced way of working will give every PCSO responsibility for a defined geographic area and every community in Sussex will have at least one named PCSO.
The new posts are being recruited throughout the financial year. There have already been intakes of 18 PCSOs in July 2019 and 36 in September 2019. Another 72 PCSOs will be trained over two intakes in January and March 2020 under the PCSO apprenticeship scheme.
This investment has been possible due to the precept increase proposed by Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, to include an extra 100 PCSOs by March 2020.
This investment has given Sussex Police a genuine opportunity to rethink its plans to enhance local policing. The precept uplift signals an exciting step change and means that communities will start to see and feel a difference as these roles are deployed to strengthen local policing.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Chapman said: “The bolstering of PCSO numbers will help police working with local communities and will help bring a greater understanding of local issues, an increase in intelligence and an early resolution of Anti-social behaviour and local disputes before they can escalate into more serious crime. This investment will also assist in identifying and keeping safe the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“Along with the traditional foot patrol in areas where the community needs our support, our PCSOs are equipped to help solve neighbourhood issues, take statements, work with police officers and our partners to problem solve in the community.”
With natural attrition, Sussex Police should achieve the target of 296 PCSOs by March 2020, though the last cohort will be in training and not deployable until the end of next summer.
There will also be six new rural PCSOs who will provide specialist support to rural communities. The rural PCSOs will have specialist training and this will enable them to recognise the specific crime types which can affect rural communities and the unique vulnerabilities of those who live and work in rural areas, both out in the community and through digital channels.
All PCSOs will work closely with our partners and voluntary organisations to solve specific local issues.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “My focus groups and conversations with local people clearly showed the public wanted PCSOs back in their communities, forming that essential and reassuring link with police.
“Neighbourhood policing needed modernising five years ago and that included giving PCSOs the necessary skills to help support police officers and investigations.
“Since then, Sussex Police have transformed the role with more knowledge, skills and powers, but at the same time keeping the best of the old model where PCSOs were known by their local communities.
“A huge welcome to our 100 extra PCSOs, as they start to enter Sussex communities on November 4. I look forward to visiting them in their designated areas and seeing the positive impact that they make to residents and local businesses.”
The 100 new posts will be allocated according to the demand and severity data
By inputting your postcode in www.police.uk you will be able to find out who your named PCSO is for the area where you live. Some areas may have more than one PCSO.
You can read more about how PCSOs will work and be deployed here.