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WANTED: New PCSOs to join Avon and Somerset Police

A picture of two PCSO's walking along

UPDATE: As of 11 September 2020 PCSO recruitment has now closed.  Thank you for the many applications we have received.

Avon and Somerset Police have today (3rd September) launched a campaign to recruit new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). We are seeking talented people from a wide range of backgrounds for a rewarding career where they can be the difference by playing a vital role in supporting, protecting and engaging with local communities.

PCSOs are part of neighbourhood police teams and work with colleagues from across the organisation to reduce crime and provide a visible and reassuring presence in neighbourhoods. They build relationships with local people to understand the policing issues that matter to them most and work with schools, colleges, community leaders, businesses and other groups to listen, engage and provide support on a wide range of policing issues. PCSOs are community champions and problem solvers who make a positive impact.

The role is varied and exciting and PCSOs are out and about every day, walking or cycling the streets, meeting people and offering support and advice. Their work can include offering crime prevention advice, working with partners to address anti-social behaviour, intelligence gathering, supporting at crime scenes or events and much more.

Rather than seeking specific skills or experience, Avon and Somerset Police want people from all backgrounds and with a range of professional and life experiences to apply, helping us to be truly representative of the communities we serve. Candidates could come from other career backgrounds, be returning to work after raising a family or seeking a role after leaving college or university. Those with previous policing experience and people who would like to transfer from other forces are also welcome to apply.

Chief Superintendent Will White, Head of Neighbourhoods and Partnerships at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “PCSOs enjoy a unique, stimulating and rewarding career. This people-focused vocation is ideal for those who take pride in their work and would relish a role in which they can make a real difference to local communities from across South Gloucestershire to Somerset, Bristol and Bath.

“Our PCSOs build a unique understanding of the needs and concerns of local people, using their personal skills to create strong relationships with communities. Our ideal candidates will enjoy helping others, be committed to engaging with and understanding the needs of people whatever their background or situation and be passionate about providing an outstanding service for everyone.

“We welcome those who share our values – caring, inclusive, courageous and learning. We are excited to be recruiting new colleagues who will bring their own unique perspective, skills and experience to an organisation which values diversity and independent thinking.”

PCSOs enjoy flexible working patterns and shifts, allowing for a healthy work-life balance, which can often comfortably accommodate child care and other commitments.

Successful applicants are given a starting salary of £20,619 with allowances for working shifts and weekends taking this to around £26,000. They will be part of a local government pension scheme, have ongoing career and development opportunities and can access a range of lifestyle benefits, employee assistance and wellbeing support.

Avon and Somerset Police is the seventh largest UK police force and covers 1,855 square miles, from coastal towns and villages to World Heritage and multi-cultural cities. It serves a diverse population of around 1.65 million people, including some 679,000 households.

Priding itself on being a progressive and caring organisation, Avon and Somerset Police is a team of over 6,000 people, including over 3,000 police officers, PCSOs and special constables and with specialist operations including police dogs, mounted patrols, firearms experts and an airport beat team. The organisation employs the latest technology to ensure its entire team is agile and advanced in its working and is constantly innovating and adapting, remaining at the forefront of forward-thinking policing.

In April 2020, Avon and Somerset Police became the first police force in the UK to achieve the accreditation for the National Equality Standard (NES), which sets clear equality, diversity and inclusion criteria against which organisations are independently assessed. NES has become the accepted standard for inclusiveness in business across the UK.

PCSO Shannon Hughes, who is part of Taunton’s Neighbourhood Policing team, joined from a retail background where she was a department manager. When a theft occurred in store, meeting the police who attended inspired her to explore a new career.

“I had always been interested in police work but assumed that you would need specific experience, special qualifications or a record in public service to become a PCSO, when in reality you just need to be right for the role.” Shannon said. “The communication skills from my retail work has stood me in great stead as I am used to talking and listening to people. I do a huge amount of communicating, as most people are happy to see you out and about and many want to have a chat, especially around any problems. We also work closely with a surprising amount of partners, including local authorities, social services, schools and others. So being welcoming, open and honest is important, as is the ability to treat everyone the same and without favour.

“It’s rewarding to see how much of an impact we make on the lives we come into contact with. Whether working within communities to problem-solve or address crime issues to working with professional partners to ensure someone who is vulnerable gets the help they need, our work is not only interesting and varied but we can help turn lives around and provide vital support and reassurance.

“I would thoroughly recommend the PCSO role as being one which will open your eyes to many new aspects of your local area and the people who live and work there. It also offers the flexibility to combine a rewarding career with lifestyle commitments, the opportunity to be part of caring organisation where departments worth together to deliver a quality service and the enjoyment of being part of a supportive team of PCSOs, police officers and police staff who respect and look after each other.”

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens added: “Neighbourhood policing, which include PCSOs, is at the heart of our communities. PCSOs make a real difference to local people by helping to promote community safety and reducing the fear of crime in their area.

“PCSOs make a real difference to our communities so if you are committed to supporting residents in your area, becoming a PCSO could be the role for you. Do not hesitate to apply.”

The closing date of this role will be determined by demand which will be monitored daily. Applicants are encouraged to apply at the earliest opportunity as this vacancy will close when a sufficient number of applications has been received.

Please click here for more information about PCSO recruitment and to apply.