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leave the PCSOs alone!!

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:54 am
by isaacsmum1
I am sick to death of turning on my television and hearing "A 59 year old grandmother had to save a man from being attacked as PCSO's stood by looking bored" or as in the tragic case of the 10 year old boy that drowned that the PCSO's just looked on. I happen to believe that for the most part what we're reading is untrue. I don't believe that any PCSO or human being worth their salt would stand by and do nothing whilst somebody's life was in danger. As a PCSO in a busy town centre, I am proud to represent the Police in my work. Yes, there are things we are not trained to do and of course there are times when it is more appropriate to call for back up than handle something yourself. In my role I find that more often than not, I am frontline and I have been called to act fast on several occasions including being the first on scene at a suicide attempt which thankfully had a happy ending. I am so tired of the stick we get in the Federation magazine. One quote I read said "PCSO's are a bad experiment and should be scrapped". I would reply to the critics and say we are out there, we're representing the Police and for the most part doing a damned good job of deterring crime. I'm sure the elderly lady who I gave advice to last week on the safety of her purse would agree. Or the mother of the little girl lost in the shopping centre who was delivered safely back to her after I was quickly able to alert retail staff I had got her. Since when do regular officers have time to stand and chat to members of the public? Tied up with prisoners and paperwork it is usually the PCSO that has to put the public's mind at ease. I love my job. Every day is a challenge. One day I may be at an RTC, the next on top of a Car Park. Or, as has happened so often, been the first to spot a WANTED person going about his or her day. Leave us alone. Let us do what we're trained to do, give us more training to cope with the things we're not, and who knows we may well surprise.

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:13 am
by Esox
I'm afraid only bad stories make the press....nothing gets printed about all our good work done doe it!!!!

These people are only a small percentage of PCSOs (a few bad eggs in my view)

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:04 pm
by falkor
THE good work of a Surrey Police
Community Support Officer (PCSO) received
country-wide prominence when
a grateful resident wrote to a national
newspaper praising her efforts.

PCSO Veronica Smith is a “very
visible presence” in Puttenham, said
villager Maggie Forwood. “She sorts out
all manner of complaints, responds to
every email and phone call and holds a
regular surgery.”

The resident wrote to the Daily
Telegraph to defend the role of PCSOs
in Surrey in the light of national bad
following the Lancashire tragedy
when a child drowned as two PCSOs
waited for back up.
A Hampshire resident had added to
the debate when she claimed there were
none in her rural part of that county but
Maggie responded: “A few miles away
in south-west Surrey we have plenty.”
She listed the work Veronica had
done in Puttenham including setting
up a youth club for bored teenagers.
PCSO Veronica’s good work
[ external image ]
latest issue of Surrey Police's "OFFBEAT" :wink:

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:03 am
by Esox
Just a shame articles like these don't make the tabloids that everyone reads.
Then again would the tabloids print them? Good news doesn't really sell papers does it?

They will have it in for us until they find another group to attack.....

Nice article though Falkor ;)

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:19 am
by plum
Never one to defend the press but

Good news don’t sell papers

Would you buy a paper that was full of?

“Today a lost child was found in a shopping centre after 5 mins.

“Today most trains ran on time”.

“Shock figures No one was murdered today”.

“Footballer gets married and doesn’t have an affair”.
Its business, negative, crap makes money

You think we get it bad, try being a teacher or a social worker

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:00 am
by tim419
IsaacsMum1 and others - YOU speak for 99% of PCSOs and the experiences you mention represent the vast majority of the excellent, routine and sadly non-national news worthy incidents that you all sort out daily.

Thanks for all yor hard work despite the very small but loud band of critics dotted about, be they Fed or papers etc. FAR MORE ordinary members of the community, the so-called silent majority, are huge supporters of PCSOs.

The letter about our Surrey colleague is a bit of welcome balance, so nice one there too!

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:15 pm
Yes good worthy news.

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:59 pm
by isaacsmum1
Plum, you're quite right. I know that bad news sells and good news doesn't. It just pains me knowing that so many lies are painted about Community Support Officers and only very rarely the good parts of our work are outlined in the press. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy enough to have no press at all and just get on with what I do, but if they're going to write something they've got to be fair by us, or at least get it right!! No one reporting on Community Support Officers seems to have the faintest idea exactly what our powers are. Which leaves me screaming at the tv as it did tonight after Treavor MacD. Maybe I should stop watching tv.... When I first joined up there was an ITV programme about our lives on the beat, it was so inspiring - it seems now that bad journalists just grab any old story and bend it to what they think people want to read or hear. Perhaps its them that should be out of a job and not us?!

Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 12:22 pm
by Marlon
tim419 wrote: FAR MORE ordinary members of the community, the so-called silent majority, are huge supporters of PCSOs.

According to this thread in "Front Door" only a 30% minority would agree with you on that ^.

Who should we believe?

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:29 pm
by danielswindells
Marlon wrote:Who should we believe?
Those on our beats and those we deal with!

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:46 pm
by Marlon
danielswindells wrote:
Marlon wrote:Who should we believe?
Those on our beats and those we deal with!

Then in that case I'd say the majority would rather see police than PCSOs.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:49 pm
by danielswindells
That is probably true. I am just talking about whether they support us as PCSO's or not-not what they would rather have Marlon

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:16 pm
But we both have a part to play, they need us and we need them.

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:54 pm
by plum
ANTHONY C wrote:But we both have a part to play, they need us and we need them.

They need us!!!!

I think if that’s the argument to stop the boat sinking

I going to take swimming lesions

PCSOs and Public Perceptions

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:48 am
by unclve vanya
Keep up the good work! Don't forget that way back in the late 1960s when Traffic Wardens first hit the streets in towns and cities around the UK, they fared much the same as that today towards PCSOs.

Back then, Traffic Wardens were regarded as 'Little Hitlers' and they were criticised by the press as well. However, they became part of the street scene and people accepted them for what they were and the job they did. When Traffic Warden roles passed over to Local Councils a few years ago, and Parking Attendents replaced them, there was just as much hostility to them as they were just seen as 'Revenue Colectors'. That is proabably true still in many local authority areas.

PCSOs havn't been around that long 4-5 years or so. The Role still has to be developed by the Bosses, the Police Forces that employ them. Experience in their roles also has to be built up. So in a few years time they will still be there assuming that who ever replaces NU Labour in government does not have some other ideas about PCSOs. Once the novelty of the uniform, and the mundaness of foot patrols and ordinary beat duties has worn off. Those who are dedicated will stay with the role, as for the others who become bored, well they will go on to other things. All jobs can be boring!