What is the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS)?

The CSAS allows organisations and their employees (such as Street Wardens, Park Rangers and Security Staff) to be given targeted police powers to deal with incidents such as anti-social behaviour, disorder and nuisance. By extending the police family the 'Accredited Persons' can also act as the 'eyes and ears' of the police to improve the quality of life issues (such as littering, underage drinking and graffiti) in the local community.

Are accredited people employed by the police?

No. Accredited persons are employed by the organisation that has been accredited. The police are not directly involved in the direction of accredited persons or in controlling their roles or day-to-day activities, but they are involved in checking their suitability before they are granted accreditation status.

Can an offence be committed against an accredited person?

Yes - it is an offence to:

  • Assault, resist or wilfully obstruct an accredited person in the execution of their duty or any person assisting them;
  • Impersonatean accredited person with intent to deceive or make any statement or do any act calculated to falsely suggest that a person is accredited.
  • It is also an offence for an AP to make any statement or do any act calculated to suggest that they have powers which exceed the powers they actually hold.

Can an accredited person detain me if I give a false name and address when being given a Fixed Penalty Notice?

No. Accredited persons do not have any special powers of arrest or detention.

How do I complain about an accredited person?

Section 40(9) of the Police Reform Act 2002 states that it is the duty of a force chief officer who establishes a community safety accreditation scheme to ensure that the employers concerned have satisfactory arrangements for handling complaints. Each organisation that employs accredited persons, therefore, will have its own complaints procedure to which members of the public should first apply.

How do I recognise an accredited person?

Accredited persons wear the uniform of their employing organisation and display a nationally agreed badge. They should also have an identification card, stating their name, which will also confirm what powers the individual has been granted.

What does the badge look like?

The badge must be worn on the uniform of the accredited person before they can exercise any of the powers granted to them under an accreditation.

The badge must replicate the proportions and colours of the published badge and be worn in the chest region of the uniform to ensure proper visibility when dealing with members of the public face to face, and must be of a minimum size of 73mm x 80mm. Beyond this the exact proportions and location of the badge are a matter for the Chief Constable.

What is the difference between Police Community Support Officers and accredited persons?

Unlike Accredited Persons, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are employed by the Police and Crime Commissioner; they are police staff and act under the full control of the Chief Constable. They are eligible for a similar, though larger range of powers than accredited persons. A significant difference is that PCSOs can detain a suspect for 30 minutes if they believe they have been given a false name and address under certain circumstances. They can also be designated with a number of search and seizure powers that are not available to accredited persons.

Under what conditions can accredited persons exercise their power?

Accredited persons can only exercise their powers in the area of the force that has accredited them (this is with the exception of the power to direct traffic for the purposes of escorting an abnormal load). Accredited persons must be clearly displaying the accreditation badge and wearing their employer's uniform.

Why should organisations seek accreditation for their employees?

Employees of approved organisations can be designated with (subject to satisfactory vetting, clearance and training) limited, targeted powers that could help to improve the impact they are having on community safety, anti-social behaviour and liveability issues.

Employers benefit from public confidence that their employees have reached acceptable standards of appearance, suitability for the post and training. In turn, the public is assured that the organisation itself has been approved by the Chief Constable and has therefore reached acceptable standards in management, supervision and accountability.

What kind of organisation can apply for its employees to be accredited?

Any organisation involved in community safety can apply for accreditation of its employees. Employers who might seek accreditation include local authorities, housing associations, private security firms, NHS trusts, charitable organisations and some companies in the leisure industry (such as those who act as stewards in sports stadia or as traffic marshals at marathons etc).

Do accredited persons have to take on powers available under accreditation?

Accredited persons do not have to be issued with all or any of the powers that are available. They only take on the ones that they and their police force feel would be of particular use to them.

What standards need to be reached?

The Police Reform Act sets out a number of requirements on force chief officers before they can make an accreditation. They must be satisfied of the following:

  • The employing organisation must have a satisfactory complaints procedure (PRA 2002 40[9]).
  • The employing organisation must be fit and proper person to supervise the work of an accredited person (PRA 2002 41[4a]).
  • The employee is suitable to exercise the powers that are to be conferred upon him (PRA 2002 41[4b]).
  • The employee is capable of effectively carrying out the functions for the purpose of which these powers are being conferred upon him (PRA 2002 41[4c]).
  • The employee has received adequate training for the exercise of these powers (PRA 2002 41[4d]).

What training is required to be accredited?

The Police Reform Act 2002 41(4d) states that a force Chief Officer may not grant accreditation unless he is satisfied that the person concerned has received adequate training for the exercise of his powers. It is therefore a matter for the Chief Officer to determine the extent of the training required by the employee in order to be accredited. This will vary depending on the role being carried out by the accredited person and the powers that will be designated to him/her. It is the responsibility of the approved employer to ensure its employee(s) receive adequate training to satisfy the requirements of the Chief Officer.

What checking procedures does a person need to go through to be eligible for accreditation?

All accredited persons are vetted to Non Police Personnel Vetting (NPPV) Level 2.

Who is liable if an accredited person is sued for unlawful conduct?

Accredited persons remain under the control of their employer and, in the event of a civil action resulting from the unlawful conduct of an accredited person, the employer is held to be joint tortfeasor.