Celebrating 20 years of PCSOs
Merseyside Police and the Police Commissioner are celebrating the vital work PCSOs have done to keep communities since they were introduced 20 years ago.
Policing Community Support Officers (PCSOs) serve a crucial function in policing. They provide a highly visible presence, deter anti-social behaviour, provide reassurance, gather intelligence and work with businesses, schools and partners to improve the safety of our neighbourhoods.
The PCSO role was created by the 2002 Police Reform Act and since that time PCSOs have more than proven their worth.
Today's milestone is an opportunity to educate the public about their unique role and celebrate their amazing contribution to policing and communities over the last two decades.
Merseyside's Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: "PCSOs are a vital part of Merseyside Police, and policing nationally.
"They are the visible face of the organisation, the bedrock of neighbourhood policing, delivering the community-first ethos on the ground day in day out.
"They’re the ones who are permanently based in a community, walking the beat and really getting to know it inside out - the people, the businesses, the issues and the challenges.
"I know from going out and about across Merseyside just how well PCSOs know and understand their neighbourhoods and how much they are respected and appreciated by the communities they serve.
"And it’s not just local people who value the role they play.
"Our Local Authorities, community safety partners, and grassroots organisations all rely on their ability to deter ASB and crime, problem solve issues that arise in their areas and keep communities safe.
"Without PCSOs we’d lose a huge amount of the incredibly important relationships with communities that it takes time to build. It is their in-depth knowledge, their approachability and their excellent communication skills – as well as their time on the ground, in an area every day - that ensures they gain people’s trust and respect.
"Those relationships and the information they generate are so often the key to solving crime.
"By acting as the organisation’s ‘eyes and ears’ across our region, PCSOS are a key source of intelligence and local knowledge; information which we all know is the lifeblood of policing."
Local Policing Superintendent Steve Brizell said: "We know from listening to feedback from the public that what people really value is having that local police presence.
"This is one of the main areas where PCSOs are vital to both Policing and the Local Communities. PCSOs have really made a difference to modern policing. they’ve become that community “bobby on the beat” figure.
"They’re a friendly face for the community, that person that people get to recognise, get to know and trust.
"So when there’s a crime, like a burglary, it’s the PCSOs - who really know the area and the people - that are going to have that key piece of information or intelligence that leads to arresting the offenders. Policing as we know it now simply wouldn’t work without their contribution, and I think a celebration of that is long overdue.’