Police community support officers play a 'vital' role in Hertfordshire, says senior police official

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in News St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Police community support officers play a "vital" role in Hertfordshire, according to a senior police official.

On Thursday, a report published by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said that in the UK, PCSOs or neighbourhood officers were being asked "to visit the location of a crime and, in some cases, to investigate the crime."

It added: "HMIC does not recommend the use of PCSOs to investigate crimes; we do see a clear reassurance, crime prevention and deterrent role for them."

However, Colin Connolly, head of corporate communications at Hertfordshire Constabulary confirmed that PCSOs did play a big role in investigations in the county, but said they worked alongside other police officers.

He said: "A while back, in Wheathampstead, there was a spate of criminal damage and graffiti. The local PCSO, because they were out and about in the town, went and got hold of some CCTV from a local shop.

"From that, he could see the offender committing the offence and although he did not recognise them, he recognised two of the other youths with them. 

"They were then able to establish that the offender came from outside of town and were then able to get a name and address.

"A police officer then went round and arrested and charged the youth."

Comments (8)

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9:59am Fri 5 Sep 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

So we have amateurs doing real police work. Why does that not fill me with confidence?

What that says to me is that we need more real police. Not having been trained fully in police work, I wonder how many jobs they have had to do and missed something important or messed it up when a real policeman or woman would have done the job properly.

If we want a proper police force, then we have to pay for it.
So we have amateurs doing real police work. Why does that not fill me with confidence? What that says to me is that we need more real police. Not having been trained fully in police work, I wonder how many jobs they have had to do and missed something important or messed it up when a real policeman or woman would have done the job properly. If we want a proper police force, then we have to pay for it. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

10:29am Fri 5 Sep 14

garston tony says...

Phil Cox (UKIP) wrote:
So we have amateurs doing real police work. Why does that not fill me with confidence? What that says to me is that we need more real police. Not having been trained fully in police work, I wonder how many jobs they have had to do and missed something important or messed it up when a real policeman or woman would have done the job properly. If we want a proper police force, then we have to pay for it.
You're onto a real vote winner there Phil, because paying for it means either increased borrowing (not good) or increased taxation (yep, that'll win you an election).

People want to have their cake and eat it, they want more coppers but dont want to have to pay for it and whilst I am not a huge fan of politicians this is one trick I dont envy them having to do.

From my own experience PCSO's do a good job, they take on roles and tasks that free up 'real' coppers to do the things that make better use of their training and skills. I dont see anything wrong for instance in the example given where PCSO's look at cctv footage which then leads to people being arrested
[quote][p][bold]Phil Cox (UKIP)[/bold] wrote: So we have amateurs doing real police work. Why does that not fill me with confidence? What that says to me is that we need more real police. Not having been trained fully in police work, I wonder how many jobs they have had to do and missed something important or messed it up when a real policeman or woman would have done the job properly. If we want a proper police force, then we have to pay for it.[/p][/quote]You're onto a real vote winner there Phil, because paying for it means either increased borrowing (not good) or increased taxation (yep, that'll win you an election). People want to have their cake and eat it, they want more coppers but dont want to have to pay for it and whilst I am not a huge fan of politicians this is one trick I dont envy them having to do. From my own experience PCSO's do a good job, they take on roles and tasks that free up 'real' coppers to do the things that make better use of their training and skills. I dont see anything wrong for instance in the example given where PCSO's look at cctv footage which then leads to people being arrested garston tony
  • Score: 9

12:38pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Fair point Tony.

Paying for things in government is always a difficult balance, but while we spend £55 million a day on EU membership, £11 billion pounds a year on Foreign Aid (bribes, waste and some hugely beneficial humanitarian works) and yet more billions on interest payments on our debts, including the money we borrow to pay out on EU membership and Aid, yet are constantly told we can't afford new hospitals or real police, then I figure perhaps our priorities are not right and there is, with the right will, some money that could be found to right a few wrongs.

So you see, it doesn't have to mean increased taxation or borrowing at all, just more practical use of our existing resources, as a country.
Fair point Tony. Paying for things in government is always a difficult balance, but while we spend £55 million a day on EU membership, £11 billion pounds a year on Foreign Aid (bribes, waste and some hugely beneficial humanitarian works) and yet more billions on interest payments on our debts, including the money we borrow to pay out on EU membership and Aid, yet are constantly told we can't afford new hospitals or real police, then I figure perhaps our priorities are not right and there is, with the right will, some money that could be found to right a few wrongs. So you see, it doesn't have to mean increased taxation or borrowing at all, just more practical use of our existing resources, as a country. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: 1

1:32pm Fri 5 Sep 14

cgpc Rob says...

The problem with PCSOs are that some communities pay more than others.

Croxley Green residents pay directly through precept for two , at a cost of @£30.000pa, Abbots Langley to my knowledge have five yet only contribute by way of allowing an office to be used at an estimated cost of £6000, other unparished areas are supplied with theirs by TRDC via general expenses.

Do Croxley Green residents therefore pay into the coffers of TRDC via council tax, who then pay for PCSOs, five in South Oxhey and other areas, then directly contribute again for their own two.

Better that each area is supplied with two PCSOs by TRDC as a right, change the legislation, ask the residents, if they want them, don't believe the answer would be no.
The problem with PCSOs are that some communities pay more than others. Croxley Green residents pay directly through precept for two , at a cost of @£30.000pa, Abbots Langley to my knowledge have five yet only contribute by way of allowing an office to be used at an estimated cost of £6000, other unparished areas are supplied with theirs by TRDC via general expenses. Do Croxley Green residents therefore pay into the coffers of TRDC via council tax, who then pay for PCSOs, five in South Oxhey and other areas, then directly contribute again for their own two. Better that each area is supplied with two PCSOs by TRDC as a right, change the legislation, ask the residents, if they want them, don't believe the answer would be no. cgpc Rob
  • Score: -1

3:16pm Fri 5 Sep 14

E.Coli says...

This is to allow the real Police to dedicate more time to operate mobile speed cameras as it means there is no human contact required.
This is to allow the real Police to dedicate more time to operate mobile speed cameras as it means there is no human contact required. E.Coli
  • Score: 1

8:49pm Fri 5 Sep 14

Wacko Jacko says...

Another example of the usual suspects shooting their mouths off without knowing the facts. Why not take a look at the Police website and see how the safer neighbourhood teams are structured with PCs and PCSOs serving under a senior management team of Sergeants and Inspectors. In my experience we are very well served by our community police who are all well trained and professional. Perhaps Phil Cockup is confusing PCSOs with Specials, which are quite a different thing.
Another example of the usual suspects shooting their mouths off without knowing the facts. Why not take a look at the Police website and see how the safer neighbourhood teams are structured with PCs and PCSOs serving under a senior management team of Sergeants and Inspectors. In my experience we are very well served by our community police who are all well trained and professional. Perhaps Phil Cockup is confusing PCSOs with Specials, which are quite a different thing. Wacko Jacko
  • Score: 4

5:40pm Sat 6 Sep 14

cgpc Rob says...

Equal costs to each community, isn't shouting their mouths off!
Equal costs to each community, isn't shouting their mouths off! cgpc Rob
  • Score: -1

8:41am Mon 8 Sep 14

garston tony says...

E.coli, speeding is a crime and the police are tasked with catching those offenders as much as they are any other criminals.

Phil, it is a difficult balancing act and if UKIP ever got into power i doubt they would do any better at getting it right. There are 60million + people in this country and what you might think is not a good use of public money may be a vital service to another group of people.

You are also on the wrong track attacking foreign aid. I'm not saying that there wont still be the possibilty of some fraud in the system but its not like the 'old days' where the money is given to a foreign government for a project only for it to go into some dictators back pocket. These days there is a massive oversight of the money and most of it is actually distributed to NGO's who run the projects that the government wants to support. These NGO's normally have to account for every penny they are given and spend, on the government funded projects I have had involvement in the auditing has been more stringent than it is for my own business here in the UK.

Whilst things are tight in this country it is all relative, there are a very small number of people who are in a truly dire situation and I have no problem in money being given to people abroad who literally only own the clothes they are wearing over it being spent in this country where the definition of poverty is not owning a new car, not being able to go on holiday, having an xbox just not the latest model etc
E.coli, speeding is a crime and the police are tasked with catching those offenders as much as they are any other criminals. Phil, it is a difficult balancing act and if UKIP ever got into power i doubt they would do any better at getting it right. There are 60million + people in this country and what you might think is not a good use of public money may be a vital service to another group of people. You are also on the wrong track attacking foreign aid. I'm not saying that there wont still be the possibilty of some fraud in the system but its not like the 'old days' where the money is given to a foreign government for a project only for it to go into some dictators back pocket. These days there is a massive oversight of the money and most of it is actually distributed to NGO's who run the projects that the government wants to support. These NGO's normally have to account for every penny they are given and spend, on the government funded projects I have had involvement in the auditing has been more stringent than it is for my own business here in the UK. Whilst things are tight in this country it is all relative, there are a very small number of people who are in a truly dire situation and I have no problem in money being given to people abroad who literally only own the clothes they are wearing over it being spent in this country where the definition of poverty is not owning a new car, not being able to go on holiday, having an xbox just not the latest model etc garston tony
  • Score: 0
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