Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
Recruitment opens Wednesday 16 September and closes Wednesday 23 September.
From dealing with anti-social behaviour and taking statements from victims of crime, to providing reassurance and helping resolve community challenges; our Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) play a critical and visible role in helping keep our communities safe, identifying and protecting the most vulnerable, and preventing harm.
As the first point of contact for the community, you’ll need to be a great communicator; calm, confident and compassionate. You’ll need to be able to listen carefully, think through challenges and find solutions. Above all, you’ll simply care about the community and want to do what you can to keep it safe.
In return, we promise you a good starting salary, great training experiences, opportunities for progression, the chance to achieve a professional qualification - Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice - and the pride that comes from helping others.
Join us and help make a real difference, together.
Being a PCSO offers a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding career. Our PCSOs play a vital role in keeping Sussex safe; working alongside our policing prevention teams to prevent and tackle local issues. You could find yourself:
- Going on highly visible foot patrols.
- Reassuring the public after minor crimes or anti-social behaviour.
- Building relationships with community, religious and business leaders.
- Working with young people and local schools.
- Making house visits to gather intelligence.
- Collecting CCTV evidence.
- Carrying out missing person enquiries.
- Protecting crime scenes until police officers arrive.
- Providing crime prevention and personal safety advice.
- Offering support at large public gatherings, such as sports events and public demonstrations.
While PCSOs do not have powers of arrest and cannot interview or process prisoners, they do have powers covering a wide range of situations including issuing fixed penalty notices, requiring contact details and seizing drugs.
From day one, you’ll be supported through great training and brilliant teammates; equipping you for every eventuality. Broad life skills and experience will also help in this role, along with diplomacy, resourcefulness and being in touch with the real world.
To apply for the role you will need to meet our eligibility criteria:
- Aged 18 years or over (on the day you submit your application).
- Have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
- Have leave to enter or leave to remain and work in the UK for an indefinite period.
- Have a full UK manual driving licence (by the time of appointment).
- Not be a member of the British National Party or other relevant organisations.
- Not have tattoos which could cause offence.
- Not have more than six penalty points.
- Not have served a prison sentence.
It is a requirement of the apprenticeship completion that individuals must have achieved Level 2 functional skills/GCSE in both Maths and English. If you do not have this at the time of your appointment as a PCSO, we will support you in achieving. To find out more details about the level of your qualification, please see gov.uk.
When you join Sussex Police, you can expect a career with variety, diversity, challenges, rewards and, now, a professional qualification. You’ll play a vital role on the front line, in a job which matters to the public but also matters to us.
We will give you:
- A starting salary of £22,047 plus an unsocial shift allowance in the region of £5,000 per year (increasing incrementally each year). With three years’ service, PCSOs can typically expect to earn circa £23,361 plus an unsocial hours shift allowance.
- Fully-funded professional qualification – Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice.
- 24 days per year annual leave, rising to 29 days (based on a working day of 7.4 hours) depending on your length of service.
- Great learning experience that will support future career opportunities.
- A competitive benefits package including pension, flexible benefits, employee assistance programme for advice and counselling, access to discounts / savings / cash-back rewards.
- A progressive approach to flexible working, enhanced maternity and paternity leave and potential for a career break (after two years’ service).
- Opportunities to join various support networks, staff associations and sports clubs.
By successfully completing the recruitment process, you will join Sussex Police as a PCSO through our new 12-month apprenticeship programme. This will give you the best possible training and, upon successful completion, you will achieve a Level 4 Diploma in Community Policing Practice – equivalent to a Higher National Certificate (HNC), foundation degree or the first year of an undergraduate degree.
The training remains focused on practical policing, with the majority of learning taking place on the job and out in the public alongside experienced colleagues. To ensure you have the tools and knowledge to excel as a modern-day PCSO it will cover subjects including digital policing, problem-solving, safeguarding and identifying vulnerability and risk. The course consists of:
- Operational learning – eight weeks full-time, based at Sussex Police Headquarters in Lewes.
- Tutoring – two weeks out in the community, supported by a tutor.
- Followed by one week compulsory annual leave.
- Operational learning – a further four weeks based at Sussex Police Headquarters.
- Tutoring – up to 10 weeks in the community alongside your tutor, after which Independent Patrol Status (IP) will be awarded.
Upon achieving IP, using the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through your training you will continue to build up your portfolio of evidence required to complete the qualification and apprenticeship. The final assessment involves a professional discussion around your work-based activities as well as a presentation relating to a problem-solving activity in the community.
Please note that to recognise the time and investment in PCSO development, this role is tenured for 24 months. You will not be able to start a new position within the force during this time however you may be able to apply for a role with longer recruitment timeframes i.e. police officer.
So you want to join us as a PCSO.
The application process consists of five stages and it’s important to note that because of this, the average time from application to appointment is five months. Only by adopting this stringent approach can we ensure we select people who will make great PCSOs.
- Stage one – application form: this is where we check your personal details and that all eligibility criteria have been met.
- Stage two – online verbal reasoning assessment: this will check your ability to understand and logically work through concepts and challenges.
- Stage three – online competency based questions: you will be asked a series of competency questions based upon the Competency and Values Framework (CVF). Please provide as much detail as possible within the recommended word count.
- Stage four – face-to-face interviews.
- Stage five – pre-employment checks: consisting of a medical, vetting, biometric vetting and a fitness test.
If your application has been successfully submitted you will receive an email to your registered email address, providing your candidate ID. If you have submitted an application but have not received a notification, please first check your Spam/Junk folder before emailing email@example.com providing your full name, telephone number and the date you submitted your application.