Police Community Support Officer (PCSO)

Job Family Core : Rank profiles
Code CR-SD-PCSO V1.2

Role Purpose


Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) act as a key liaison point between local communities and policing. Publicly facing, they provide a visible, accessible and approachable uniformed presence in the community to offer reassurance, defuse situations with threats of conflict, improve confidence and trust, gather information and foster good community relations.

This role holds designated PCSO legal powers of enforcement in line with local Force requirements to support the successful resolution, prevention and deterrent of local crime. PCSOs are also expected to respond to a wider range of non-criminal issues that contribute to vulnerability and safety within the community. They will be expected to act with discretion, making appropriate use of their designated powers and acting within Force guidelines.

Key Accountabilities

  • Maintain a highly visible community presence in accordance with local area needs to address issues of public concern, act as a deterrent to local crime and improve community confidence.
  • Support ongoing Police operations undertaking community-based activities as directed to gather, handle and submit information and intelligence, acting in line with legislation, policies and guidance, to support law enforcement.
  • Support Police Officers in initial front-line response to incidents enabling resolution to and/or preventing escalation of low-level offending in line with their designated powers and remit.
  • Develop close working relationships with key community bodies/individuals as directed to gather and provide information, support the vulnerable, promote community cohesion, identify and tackle low-level issues such as anti-social behaviour.
  • Develop effective relationships with individuals, including the vulnerable and at risk, across the community, providing support and guidance to identify root causes, assess needs, prevent crime, respond to concerns and build trust in policing.
  • Assist front line responses to more complex incidents as a first at scene responder, acting to contain, assess needs and/or provide support to ensure immediate public safety.
  • Maintain awareness of potential and actual risks to individuals, escalating potential threats to public safety in line with Force guidance to support the identification and resolution of issues.
  • Support the identification and exploration of new ways of working and innovation in community policing, applying critical thinking and problem solving methodologies to identify solutions to problems in line with evidence based practice.
  • Support the implementation of problem solving and evidence based policing initiatives by championing and applying relevant methodologies and approaches to area of work.


All roles are expected to know, understand and act within the ethics and values of the Police Service.

The Competency and Values Framework (CVF) has six competencies that are clustered into three groups. Under each competency are three levels that show what behaviours will look like in practice.

It is suggested that this role should be operating or working towards the following levels of the CVF:

Resolute, compassionate and committed

Inclusive, enabling and visionary leadership

Intelligent, creative and informed policing

Education, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

Prior Education and Experience:

  • Typically, a PCSO will have achieved a Level 3 qualification (or equivalent) prior to entry.
  • Successfully achieved employment through recruitment (local force criteria).

  Policing Education and Qualification Framework (PEQF):

From 2019, new entrants are able to achieve an approved Level 4 qualification on its own or as a part of an apprenticeship, in line with the requirements of the PEQF.

Please note: whilst the academic requirement of the PEQF for PCSOs has been agreed and will be the only professional body approved national standard, the timeframe for transitioning to application of the Level 4 qualification remains flexible.


  • Able to develop knowledge and understanding of a local community including society composition, the needs of the vulnerable and local safety issues.
  • Good verbal communication skills with the ability to listen to others, reason and defuse situations, particularly in confrontational circumstances.
  • Able to proactively develop effective working relationships with colleagues, partners and other stakeholders which build rapport, trust and confidence.
  • Good team working skills demonstrating awareness of individual differences.
  • Able to break down a straightforward problem into component parts, assess cause and effect and determine appropriate action.
  • Able to interpret and apply guidance to a specific activity.
  • Problem solving skills with the ability to identify cause and effect and develop a course of action designed to target root causes as well as manage impacts.
  • Able to write concise reports or other documents.
  • Able to identify potential opportunities to enhance efficiency and/or effectiveness within own area of work.
  • Able to review own performance objectively and to take steps to maintain and enhance competence and professional standards appropriate to the role.
  • Good time management skills with the ability to plan and prioritise own work.
  • Skilled in the use of use standard IT packages, systems and/or databases to fulfil role requirements.
  • Skilled in applying personal safety tactics and the use of equipment where applicable.
  • Able to develop and maintain personal resilience.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

  • Maintain currency of College of Policing Guidance, best practice and any local policy applicable to the operational police context.
  • Maintain and update key knowledge, understanding and skills relating to legislation policy and practice across all functional policing areas of operational policing.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of new approaches identified by evidence based policing research and problem solving and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Maintain a working knowledge and understanding of new and evolving crime threats and priorities; and current best practice to tackle these in order to enable a pro-active and preventative approach.
  • Complete all annual and mandatory training.
  • Maintain knowledge and understanding of community engagement methods and opportunities and synthesise these into working practice.
  • Undertake learning and assessment related to additional policing powers conferred on them by their Chief Constable according to force needs.

Professional Registration/Licenses

Not applicable.

Links to other Profiles

Not applicable.

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