Thursday, May 30, 2024

Essex Police celebrate 20 years of Police Community Support Officers

THE exceptional work of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) was recognised with an event at Essex Police headquarters to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the role’s creation.

PCSOs have become a vital link between communities and the police since they were established by the 2002 Police Reform Act.

By forming close working relationships with local bodies and individuals, resolving disputes, and providing support to policing operations, PCSOs help to deter crime and promote community cohesion.

Essex’s 103 PCSOs are involved in tackling a multitude of issues including hate crimes, anti-social behaviour, noise, parking, fly tipping and criminal damage. They also look out for vulnerable people such as the elderly and those in danger of radicalisation.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan is the national lead for PCSOs and paid tribute to the immense contribution they make in Essex.

Addressing PCSOs at the event, she said: “PCSOs are the absolute backbone of community policing. We couldn’t do what we do in our communities without you. The engagement work, problem-solving with partners and intelligence you obtain is invaluable.

“You are a critical part of our service and play a key role in making Essex safer. You are leaders in our work with anti-social behaviour, you step in to protect crime scenes and attend serious incidents, and almost every week I hear how PCSOs have apprehended violent offenders, saved members of the public, found high-risk missing people, or engaged with vulnerable children and adults.

“You are a key part of the Essex Police family and every day you make a difference to the public and local communities. I’m really pleased that we are celebrating your dedication and commitment.”

ACC Nolan’s words were echoed by Superintendent Shaun Kane who leads the Local Policing Support Unit.

He said: “Our PSCOs have established incredibly strong links in their local communities and are a crucial part of neighbourhood policing.

“It takes a certain type of person to be a PCSO. You need high degrees of patience and excellent communication skills. They have a huge impact on those quality-of-life issues that really affect people.

“They reassure the public, are highly visible and listen to local issues. The importance of that interaction cannot be underestimated.

“What they deliver in terms of local knowledge, intelligence and contacts is absolutely invaluable. They are a massive asset to policing.”

Awards were given to a PCSO in each of the ten policing districts for their exceptional contribution to their community.

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