Frequently asked questions

What is the role of a Police Community Support Officer?
A Police Community Support Officer works as part of a team which includes other police colleagues. They contribute to the policing of neighborhood’s, mainly through high visibility patrol, reassuring the public, dealing with local problems like anti-social behavior in public places and to be contactable by local communities and partner agencies. The priority of the role and the powers required to fulfil it are about making the public feel safer and reducing the fear of crime. PCSOs have powers to deal with anti-social behavior, alcohol and tobacco offences, some minor parking obstruction offences and specifically in West Yorkshire, have the power to detain people for up to 30 minutes for certain offences until a police officer arrives.


What's the salary
Salary £20,619 - £22,833 + shift allowance


When I join West Yorkshire Police, where will I be posted?
Police Community Support Officers are contracted to work in a specific district. However we take notice of an Officer’s home address when allocating an Officer’s initial posting. This is to primarily avoid excessive travelling and associated costs.


What are the shift patterns that I will be working?
When you join West Yorkshire Police you will be attached to a Neighbourhood Policing Team also known as an NPT and you will work a 10 week variable shift pattern (7 days on 4 days off) which keeps on repeating itself throughout the year. The work shifts will include weekends and may include Bank Holidays.

What is Neighbourhood Policing?
The purpose of Neighbourhood Policing is to deliver the right people at the right places and in the right numbers in order to create neighborhood’s that are safe and feel safe. Neighbourhood Policing has three requirements and these are, firstly to provide a consistent presence of dedicated Neighbourhood Teams capable of working with the community to solve local problems, secondly to be led by information and intelligence to identify local community concerns and to promptly and effectively target against those concerns, and finally to jointly work with other agencies problem solving within the community to improve local environments and the quality of life of people who work, live or visit those areas.

Each team is led by an Inspector and has one to three Sergeants, a number of Constables, PCSOs and Special Constabulary Officers. Each team will have staff working 7 days a week between 07.00 up to 00.00 unless in the city centre where staff work up to 03.00 am.

The teams may operate from a number of different buildings within their area but mainly from Police Stations. Officers have access to offices in Council premises, hospitals and some schools. You can find out which is your local team and the details of your local officers by entering your post code on the home page.


How is the training structured?
PCSOs currently receive 8 weeks training and continual assessment on a non-residential course at Eccleshill Police Station, Bradford and occasionally at Carr Gate, Wakefield. The course is based around learning standards as required by the College of Policing and incorporates subjects such as information technology systems, health and safety, diversity, basic conflict management training, officer safety skills, basic policing skills, first aid and PCSO powers. Incorporated into the programme is an attachment to District where students familiarise themselves with local policing procedure and the communities they will serve. The course requires a high degree of commitment both in and out of the classroom environment. Following designation as a PCSO officers are posted to district, where they are tutored by an experienced PCSO Tutor before commencing independent patrol.


Can you explain a Police Community Support Officer's power to detain?
This is a power to require someone to remain with a PCSO for up to 30 minutes pending the arrival of a Police Officer. It is a power available where a person whom the PCSO believes has committed a relevant offence fails to provide, on request, a name and address or provides one that the PCSO suspects is false or inaccurate. PCSOs in West Yorkshire can also use reasonable force to prevent someone from leaving the scene.


Why do Police Officers and PCSOs have different uniforms?
You should be able to identify a PCSO by their uniform and not confuse this with the uniform of a police constable. PCSOs should be recognisable for the public as police staff but visibly distinct from regular police officers. In order to do this all PCSOs wear a uniform with blue epaulettes, blue hatbands and Police Community Support Officer insignia. All PCSOs are issued with body armour but due to their role have no need for handcuffs, police batons or pava spray unlike regular officers. Where PCSOs need assistance they can of course use their radios to call Police Officers to attend.