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

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    Abstract

    Using findings from an in-depth study of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in England, this paper argues that PCSOs should not be viewed as expendable in times of austerity. They have a vital role in Neighbourhood Policing, which is in turn important for police legitimacy. This in fact makes them crucial to police forces trying to save money. PCSOs are uniquely placed in policing to build social capital on their beats which can be used to resolve community problems, prevent crime and gather intelligence. However, to abstract PCSOs from their beats and to increase their powers undermines the strength of their role and the added benefit they bring to police forces. In order for the full impact of PCSOs to be realised, they need to be fully integrated and supported members of Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberpau018
    Pages (from-to)265-273
    Number of pages9
    JournalPolicing: a Journal of Policy and Practice
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Early online date11 Jun 2014
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2014

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