Police Community Support Officers

A reassuring presence on the streets

Police Community Support Officers play a key role in providing a reassuring presence to the public. They conduct visible foot-patrols and assist with the prevention of crime and disorder within the community.

About the job

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) play an absolutely vital role in offering a reassuring presence to the public. They also act as a visible deterrent to anti-social behaviour. These uniformed officers are out and about in the community, operating regular foot patrols. Supporting the Force at street level, they help free up valuable police time and resources. In doing so, they put a spotlight on lower-level crime, disorder, and anti-social behaviour.

It’s a role that calls for strong powers of observation, communication, judgment, and problem-solving, and it goes without saying that you’ll need to be driven by the idea of making a real difference within your community. You can read more about our commitment to the community, and the Code of Ethics we stand by, in the Working with us section.

The role involves evening and weekend shift work, and may require you to work at various locations across the county. You’ll also receive a shift allowance on top of the basic salary.


back to top

Eligibility criteria

We welcome applications from people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, gender and sexual orientation. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants will need to meet, so you need to check that you meet our requirements before submitting an application.

You need to be 18 or over to apply, and applicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you’re a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain. All applicants must have a minimum of 3 years UK residency.

If you have a criminal record, this doesn’t mean you’re automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form. If you have any questions on this, you can contact HREnquiries@Herts.pnn.police.uk for advice.

Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application.

If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding county court judgments or you are an undischarged bankrupt, then you are automatically ineligible.

Minimum Entry Criteria

The minimum entry criteria for the role of a PCSO is detailed on the role profile. You should ensure that you meet these requirements before making your application.

Pre-employment checks

If you are successful in the selection process, you will receive a conditional offer and we will start progressing your pre-employment checks. Those include vetting, medical, references, and a fitness test, and you can find more detail on these in our Applicant Help section, and it’s essential that you read this.

For the role of PCSO, you will need to be good health, and your BMI must be between 18 and 30. You must have good fitness levels: during the fitness test you must achieve 5.4 on a bleep test.


back to top

Pay and benefits

For individuals working full time (37 hours per week) and working the full shift pattern, the starting salary will be £23,346 (includes shift allowance).

You will be eligible to join the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). This is a contributory Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme to which the Constabulary as the employer contributes to as well.

As a full time PCSO, we’ll offer you a minimum of 178 hours of annual leave (24 days), with the potential to increase up to 222 hours (30 days), dependent on your hours of work and length of service. You will also receive 8 days of public holidays. Your annual leave entitlement will be confirmed when you begin your role.

We give people the support they need to make a positive contribution to our services. For all the benefits you’ll receive as part of Hertfordshire Police, see our Working with us section.


back to top

Application stages

Once you’ve completed your application form, it will be shortlisted against the entry requirements and Behavioural Competencies of a PCSO. You should therefore complete it fully and carefully, providing strong examples to back up your answers.

Click here for a sample Police Community Support Officer role profile, to see the competencies you’ll need to demonstrate in your application.

Candidates who pass the application stage will be invited to a Police Initial Recruitment Test, and from there, successful candidates will be invited to a competency-based interview.

PCSOs have to meet the same fitness requirements and background checks as regular officers. So, before being appointed, you’ll be required to pass medical and fitness tests, as well as providing a three-year reference history and passing a security vetting process. You can find more detail on this in our Applicant Help section. It is essential that you read this.

As part of the vetting process, candidates are required to give a DNA sample (mouth swab) and fingerprints, which will be checked against a national database. The candidates will be sent an invite to attend a session for this purpose, carried out by the recruitment team, around eight weeks prior to their start date.

If we’re happy that you meet all the criteria for the role, you’ll be invited onto the next available training course.


back to top

Training

Prior to joining, you will be sent a mandatory e-learning course, which must be completed prior to your start date.

When you first join, you’ll go on a six-week training course, covering all the essential skills you’ll need as an effective PCSO. Using a mixture of classroom and practical exercises, the course will teach you how to patrol effectively, respond to incidents and meet the needs of the community. To help you, you’ll receive a thorough grounding in personal safety, legal powers, first aid, radio procedure and gathering evidence. You’ll then continue your development ‘on the job’ within the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

At regular intervals during your career you’ll take part in further training ‘top-ups’.


back to top

back to top

Key questions


back to top