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Sussex Police is celebrating 20 years since the first Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) joined the force.
PCSOs have become an integral part of the local policing service over the last two decades, helping to solve local challenges by being a visible presence in the cities, towns and villages of Sussex, meeting people, and offering advice and support.
While the role was introduced nationally in 2002, Sussex welcomed its first PCSOs a year later – and two of the people who joined the force as a PCSO in 2003 still remain on the beat today.
To commemorate the anniversary on Tuesday 14 February, Sussex Police hosted 50 PCSOs from across the force for an event at its headquarters in Lewes, where they were joined by Chief Constable Jo Shiner and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.
We will be putting a spotlight on some of our PCSOs and their achievements in the coming days via our social media channels.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “PCSOs are a vital part of our police force and it was brilliant to speak with so many of them at this week’s event.
“I remember the introduction of PCSOs into the police and am delighted to see how the role has evolved to become an established part of some forces up and down the country. By being that familiar face in the community, PCSOs will often be the first contact some people have with the police, giving essential crime prevention advice and providing reassurance when our communities need us most.
“Thank you to all of our current and previous PCSOs for your dedication and contribution to the force. It’s an incredibly rewarding role and I would highly recommend anyone who would like to become a PCSO in Sussex to submit an application on the recruitment page of our website.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “In the last two decades, PCSOs have truly demonstrated their value to Sussex. They have become embedded in neighbourhood policing by building strong relationships and trust with local residents.
“People tell me all the time how much they appreciate their local PCSO and it’s no surprise that the public will often affectionately refer to them by their first name. My regular consultations show just how valued these officers have become and that’s why I have made it a priority to preserve our PCSOs.
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all PCSOs - whether you’ve been in the role for a long time or you’re new on the beat – because you play a vital role in deterring and detecting crime. Your presence is essential in maintaining trust and ensuring public confidence continues in Sussex Police.”
If you are interested in becoming a PCSO, our recruitment campaign has been extended to 17 March 2023.
You can apply to become a PCSO here.