PCSOs as the paraprofessionals of policing: findings and recommendations from a research project

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    This report discusses the main findings and recommendations for policy and practice from a research study of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in England. The research was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and was carried out between October 2012 and March 2013. The methods used in this project were interviews and field observations of PCSOs from six Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) from two police forces in the north of England. Police officer colleagues of PCSOs were also interviewed. The data was analysed using a qualitative data analysis software package (MaxQDA). The findings can be grouped under the headings: Defining the Role; Knowing the Beat; Looking Ahead and Building a Career; Skills and Qualities of a PCSO; and Building Relationships: Inside and Outside. The research finds that PCSOs are vital to the success of Neighbourhood Policing, but need better support from police organisations to be fully effective.

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDundee
    PublisherUniversity of Dundee
    Number of pages42
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2014


    • Police Community Support Officers
    • Neighbourhood Policing
    • police practice
    • qualitative methods

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  • Research Output

    Ripe for the chop or the public face of policing? PCSOs and Neighbourhood Policing in austerity

    O'Neill, M., 3 Sep 2014, In : Policing: a Journal of Policy and Practice. 8, 3, p. 265-273 9 p., pau018.

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    Open Access
  • 13 Citations (Scopus)
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    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Police Community Support Officers: Walking a Thin Blue Line

    Megan O'Neill (Invited speaker)

    25 Mar 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

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