Meet some of our Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
Our Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) play an absolutely vital role in offering a reassuring presence to the public, helping to fight crime and anti-social behaviour, and forge stronger relationships with the community they serve.
PCSO Sadqain wanted to know what problems his local community faced and how he could help make a difference in people’s lives, so he joined policing.
“People asked me why I wanted to join the police and there were lots of reasons, my last role was a site manager at a recycling centre and I wanted a change of career to help the community and local police by using my skills in a challenging and rewarding job to build my confidence.
“Another reason I applied was I wanted to represent my Muslim and Kashmiri community. There are a good number of Pakistani and Kashmiri living in my local hometown and I saw many Asian councillors, but hardly any Asian PCSOs, so that motivated me a lot.
“My family and friends appreciate me and support me a lot. They were really happy with what I chose to do and I’m very thankful to them. I got a few negative comments at first, but I just dismissed them.
“Hertfordshire is my county, my family and my people live here, I saw an advert on Facebook and stepped up and applied through the PCSO website.”
PCSOs play an important role in communities, helping to maintain public safety and order and this appealed to Sadqain as rewarding work. They work with different local partners agencies and schools, which makes it an interesting job.
“It makes my day when I’m on patrol and someone says to me that they feel safe when I’m around,” said Sadqain. “On a typical day we attend a morning briefing, check on the computer what is happening in our designated area and make notes on what is most important and where we need to visit first. We spend time patrolling and are always conscious of what happening around us, listening to the police radio all the time. We also arrange and attend meetings and events in the community.
“I would recommend becoming a PCSO to anyone who wants to make a difference to people’s lives, keep our streets safe and help the community to come forward and choose this rewarding and challenging profession.”
Jo was scrolling through Facebook, reading about serving as a PCSO and thought: “I could do that”. She applied for a job and the rest is history.
“I’d always been interested in joining the force but never had the courage to sign up, when I saw the advert for PCSO on Facebook, I thought it was a great chance to give it a go and help the community,” said Jo.
“Also, a relative of a friend of mine was in a fatal altercation where he lost his life and that made me want to get involved with fighting crime and to help the community feel safe.”
As a PCSO, she says each day is different. She gives talks at schools, holds beat surgeries discussing local issues with residents, collects and views CCTV and foot patrols around her beat.
“All the incidents you deal with are challenging in their own way from neighbour issues to thefts to mental health issues, you have to deal with them on a case-by-case basis and adjust your thinking quickly and proactively. Every day is completely different and you get involved in some interesting and complex situations. My colleagues are great, helpful and supportive which makes the role even better.”
She says her family are right behind her and she would recommend being a PCSO: “I’d recommend it for the same reason I go back every day; it’s different. If you want to help the community and help fight crime this job is the best at doing that.”
Imran was looking for a new challenge and joining the police is something he always had an interest in. He saw an advert on Facebook and decided he could be in uniform helping the public. He hasn’t looked back since.
“I was really attracted to the variety of the job with every day being different,” he said. “This is a role that really suits me, I love working with people and I wanted a career where I could make a difference to people’s lives.
“In my previous jobs I’ve worked as a security officer for Tesco, Boots and Cineworld, I was also a Domino’s delivery driver and I worked for Luton Borough Council as an enforcement officer.
“My people skills and experiences from dealing with customers in different situations I came across has really helped me in my current role. My experience aids me with helping and understanding people.
“I’m a people person and having strong communication skills and experience in dealing with a diverse range of people has certainly helped me in my policing role. It is extremely rewarding to know when I have made a difference in someone’s life.”
Imran knew he wanted to work in policing and becoming a PCSO for Hertfordshire Constabulary has been a great way to do this. “I knew I wouldn’t enjoy an office based job as I get bored quite quickly,” he recalled. “The fact that this role is people facing and involves being out and about in the community was a huge attraction.
“Hertfordshire is close to my home and heart, it’s a massive county and there is extensive cultural diversity, with people from different backgrounds, race, religions and different languages.
“Being a PCSO is about giving a voice to the vulnerable and helping the Hertfordshire community we are all a part of. I have seen vulnerable people exploited in the past, so I have used this role and my experience to engage with people of different ages, backgrounds, cultures and religions to reassure them that we are here to support and protect them against hurt and harm.”
Imran says that every day brings him a new challenge, spending his days working to make people feel safer in their communities and lessening the fear of crime through reassurance and personal contact.
After being made redundant, mum of two Ruxane decided she needed a new challenge and now she’s loving every minute out on the beat as a PCSO.
“I had been within the telecoms industry for around 20 years. After being made redundant I decided that I needed a change and the world was my oyster,” she said.
“My sister forwarded me a post on Facebook about becoming a PCSO. It was something I had never thought about before but it sounded interesting, so I applied.”
Nearly two years on, Ruxane hasn’t looked back and says she has learnt a lot on the job and grown as a person.
“Every day is very different and varied. I enjoy the challenge and that no two days are ever the same.
“If you’re a people person, like the outdoors in all weathers and enjoy dealing with a variety of issues, which can sometimes take you out of your comfort zone, then becoming a PCSO is for you.
“I can honestly say that I love my job and look forward to a new experience every day.”
PCSO Sarah loves the variety of her job and was particularly interested in making a difference to young people when she joined policing.
“They’re our next generation so it’s very important,” she said. “I want them to know that they can approach police if they need to.
“No two days are ever the same, one day I could be at a school talking about cyber bullying and the next day I could be dealing with anti-social behaviour within one of the local parks.”
Much of Sarah’s role involves her getting out and about speaking to local people, but she also helps with crime investigation by collecting CCTV footage and preparing images to help identify suspects.
When needed, she gets involved in searches for missing people and has completed specialist training to support those with mental health issues.
Sarah also gets involved in community events, does regular talks at a local women’s centre and visits elderly and vulnerable residents to make sure they’re OK.
She said: “I get great satisfaction from helping people from within my community and from being a presence on the street. For some people a smile and ‘good morning’ goes such a long way and means so much.”
After working with horses and event management for over eight years, Shelley decided she needed a career change, joining Herts police in November 2020.
PCSO Shelley loves the job: “I would recommend becoming a PCSO if you want to help people. Spending time with someone who is vulnerable can really make a difference to their lives, attending schools regularly makes a positive impact on the children’s lives and they begin to see us in a positive light and hopefully we can help the children make the right life choices.”
“I felt it was my time,” she said. “My daughter was studying public services at college to become a police officer and my partner is a roads policing officer, so the idea of joining the policing family really appealed to me, so I applied to become a PCSO.
The job is varied, she said: “Each day I go to work knowing the day will never be the same and will throw anything at you, but it makes me feel happy that I may have made a difference to someone’s life.
“On a daily basis I check what crimes have happened in my patrol area and check regularly on my more vulnerable residents. I attend the retirement living homes for coffee mornings so they can talk through any worries they may have, and I also hold a monthly surgery in the community centre for local residents to pop in and report things to me like nuisance neighbours and speeding.”
Based in Letchworth Safer Neighbourhood Team, she visits local schools regularly and runs Mini Police courses at primary schools.
“My parents are extremely proud, as are my children and my partner. I love being part of the policing family and I’m immensely proud that my daughter has also followed her dreams. My youngest child also wants to join, so we may have even more of us as a family in the police in the future!”
I have been a PCSO with Hertfordshire Constabulary for over nine years now. This was a complete career change for me. I used to be self-employed, but wanted a more secure job which was both exciting and of benefit to the local community in which I live.
The training was comprehensive but you never stop learning in this job. You quite literally learn something new every day. This in itself is a very appealing part of the job. One of my main tutors in training was an ex Metropolitan Police Officer with well over 30 years under his belt. The best piece of advice he gave me as a PCSO is that “your voice is your best tool!” We don’t have a baton or cuffs but if you can talk (and listen) to people from any walk of life, you’ll probably make a great PCSO.
You need to be fit and enjoy being outdoors as the job involves a lot of walking. Also if you have an inquisitive nature and question everything you see around you, this might be your next job. The camaraderie is great. I can honestly say I enjoy working with all my colleagues. We work in an open plan office -Chief Inspector, Inspectors, Sergeants, PCs and PCSOs all together, supporting each other daily.
The best thing about the job is the variety. One day you might be speaking to children during a school assembly or taking the police van to a Summer Fair - the next you might be scene guarding a murder scene or helping disassemble a cannabis factory. I’ve done all the above and everything in between. This job is not boring!
The job is rewarding. At the end of a shift if you’ve detained a shoplifter, found a lost child or visited a community group in your area. The sense of satisfaction and the fact that you’ve ‘made a difference’ is unbeatable.