Community officers given more powers
POLICE community support officers have been given extra powers. The powers were approved by Chief Constable Frank Whiteley and have been introduced to bolster PCSOs capabilities to deal with anti-social behaviour. Peter Spencer, the Herts police communit
POLICE community support officers have been given extra powers.
The powers were approved by Chief Constable Frank Whiteley and have been introduced to bolster PCSOs' capabilities to deal with anti-social behaviour.
Peter Spencer, the Herts police community safety project manager, said PCSOs have proved to be a "phenomenal success" and have gained the support of the communities they serve.
Herts currently has 159 PCSOs who are employed by the constabulary and funded in a number of ways including contributions from the Home Office, Herts County Council and district and parish councils.
Herts police plans to have a total of 242 PCSOs in place by the end of March next year and 359 by the end of March 2008.
Their main duties are to carry out high visibility patrols to prevent disorder and nuisance, to respond to requests from the public to deal with anti-social behaviour and to gather details about crime and suspected criminals.
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PSCOs already have a number of powers which include the confiscation of alcohol in a public place, enforcing by-laws and the power to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling, litter, fly-tipping and graffiti offences
The new powers include:
- Power to enforce certain licensing offences
- Limited power to enter licensed premises
- Power to search for alcohol and tobacco
- Power to seize drugs
- Power to photograph people away from the police station.
Mr Spencer said: "These additional powers have been granted to enable them to tackle in particular alcohol-related anti-social behaviour which can be so detrimental to the quality of life of residents.