5. FAQs

PCSO Live Q&A - 13 January 2021

PC Megan English (l) and PC Fiona White (r) answering your PCSO questions.

You must be 18-years old. This is because some of the legal powers you will be given can only be allocated to people who are aged 18 or above.

There is no upper age limit for Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

Currently, you will need to undergo a medical screening process with our internal Occupation Health Unit , but there is not fitness test. However, bear in mind that you need to be fit enough to spend all day on your feet, out and about in your area. The medical assessment checks include Body Mass Index (BMI), eye sight test, colour vision, lung function and hearing.

Part of the essential criteria is to be educated to GCSE Grade C/Level4/5 in English Language or equivalent, or to be able to demonstrate use of English Language to that standard. You will also need to demonstrate examples of work and personal experience in order to meet the essential and desirable criteria.

Shift work is required between 8am and 11pm, seven days a week on a rotating shift basis. Some hours either before 8am or after 11pm may need to be undertaken to meet operational needs, with appropriate notice. You will also be required to work bank holidays.

As the role of a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) is very different to the role of a regular police officer, there is no natural progression or easy route into becoming a regular police officer.

You need to be aware that you will be expected to serve within the county of Leicestershire and/Rutland. However, every effort is made to take personal needs and circumstances into account where possible. It is worth noting that there will need to be a balance between personal and organisational needs.

The designated hours for a full-time Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) are 37 hours per week.

Part-time applications are accepted, however, the 6-week training course needs to be undertaken on a full-time basis. The course runs Monday to Friday, and a full day must be worked each day.

Upon completion of the course, you will be assigned to a place of work on a normal shift pattern.

We would ask that you request to work part-time after your interview, you will still be required to work across the full set of shifts and work a pro-rata of weekends. Once we have your request, we can review the number of hours that you can work . This will then be considered and although we will make every effort to meet your hours, it will depend upon the particular operational requirements of the Neighbourhood Policing Area.

All new starters are entitled to 23 days per year, rising to a maximum of 28 days per year after 5 years.

A lot of the work of a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) is done alone, although there may be times when you are partnered or in a group.

As the role is so varied, you will have the opportunity to attend many different situations and work on different areas within your local policing team.

There are also plenty of self-developmental opportunities within the force, such as potential support for studying.

If you do want to move on from the role of Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), then there are many other opportunities available in force, all support staff roles will be open for you to apply for and the role of police constable when open for recruitment.

You will be provided with a uniform and items such as body armour, radio and torch. You will not be provided with any of the specialist equipment that is assigned to regular police officers (e.g. handcuffs).

Yes, there is a specialist Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) uniform that will be supplied during the 6 week training period at headquarters.

Successful candidates will be required to attend a six week training course and must be available every day (Monday to Friday) during that period. Candidates who are unavailable for any day(s) of the training period cannot be appointed.

You should also be aware that the training is held at Force Headquarters, Enderby, Leicestershire and you will be required to travel to HQ daily during your training period.

A period of 6 weeks 'in company' training will follow, at your assigned police station. Any pre-booked leave, maternity and adoption leave after training and during the 6 week 'in company' period must be disclosed during the pre-employment stage.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) receive a basic salary of £18,486 to £22,275. You would normally be appointed on the bottom of the salary grade (exceptions may apply) and will progress through the salary scale via annual increases. Weekend working and shift enhancements are available, depending on the hours worked.

The primary role of a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) is to provide a highly visible reassuring presence within the neighbourhoods of Leicestershire and Rutland, working as part of a dedicated neighbourhood team to support the problem-solving initiatives developed by the team.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are required to have an online presence on social media and for photographs and information to be available to the public online (subject to risk assessment).

Your line manager will be the dedicated neighbourhood Sergeant; however, you will be working as part of a neighbourhood team which includes police officers, other Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), Special constables and police support volunteers.