Policing of SE1

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Friday 28 February 2003 3.27pm
Has anyone seen the 'ineffectuals' aka the police support officers or whatever they call themselves - seem to be traffic wardens with stab vests.

one thing I have always wondered... why don't they pay police special constables as they do soldiers in the territorial army? Maybe if they did then they would get quite a lot more interest and a better standard of officer. Buggered if I would take the same risks as a 25k officer when I'm only getting paid my tube fare home!
Saturday 1 March 2003 6.56pm
Police Community Support Officers (PCSO'S) are only just being introduced to the SE1 area, so chances are you won't see many yet. but you will in Westminster.
Ineffectuals. can I ask where you obtained that information from. crime in Oxford Street reduced over half when PCSO'S patrolled the area.
PCSO'S are not traffic wardens, although there will be traffic PCSO'S as well.
PSCO'S work a hard 24/7 shift, releasing police to handle more serious crime.
and yes i am one. and responses like yours make me think we do not deserve better policing.
Hendon is at bursting point with new officers, so PCSO'S are an extra resource. not a cheap alternative.
surely any new initiative should be welcomed. and insulting individuals who have taken the role is childish and stupid.
So if I bump into you and you need help,should I assist or as an ineffectual just leave be.
Monday 3 March 2003 9.09am
I'm sorry Martyn if I tarred you with one big brush... I have had some bad experiences with your counterparts in Covent Garden walking straight past crime and shouldn't have made such as weeping statement.

I do however believe that with most things you should be given the best powers or tools to do the job - be it powers of arrest or for constables to be armed etc.

I'm sure you will however agree that it is early days and that the PCSO's have yet to fully prove themselves as as an effective crime fighting asset rather than a policing resource tool - with committed officers like yourself I'm sure it will happen. I have addressed my concerns over the west end officers and hopefully they will be addressed.

Once again - sorry to tar you with the big brush but there are bad apples in every organisation. Maybe I should come and see for myself what the PCSO's do?

David
Monday 3 March 2003 9.33am
Dave, why don't you try it for a month?
Monday 3 March 2003 10.10am
I did Belfast for 2 years that was more than enough!

Seriously though did think about becoming a PC and I know I could do a good job at it but woud be very frustrated at a wide range of issues.

Would also mean a pay cut :(

It's not an enviable job I agree.
Jai
Monday 3 March 2003 2.50pm
Dave's first comment was, to be put it mildly, a little unfortunate.

I have much admiration for those who give their time in order to help out where others just moan about it. I'm without a shadow of doubt, that there is anyone who believes that PCSO's are doing this for money.

If only this commitment was shared with members of the the regular police force (and I don't mean to generalise).

We do however deserve better policing... The idea that the person coming in and forces his way into my home in order to run away with my videoplayer, gets away with the crime, because police cannot justify investigating. In fact, unless it's a serious crime (one with lots of media-cover), anything that requires investigating gets brushed under the carpet it seems.

I haven't seen a single police officer in my street, since I moved about 7 months ago.

yet they are happy to pump personnel resources into traffic-policing to increase revenues. And now they're going to use highly motivated individuals to do this dirty job where they're going to be subjected to the ugly face of public relations. These PCSO's are going to be bullied into giving up their dreams of becoming a police officer without ever receiving the help they deserve from the force.



Varkenslachter
Monday 3 March 2003 3.01pm
Jai,

My comment was directed at the PCSO's of Covent Garden who follow one another around the same beat - taking 4 minutes or so between patrols whilst people seem to commit crimes at will minutes off this seemingly fixed beat.

I believe that it is the same with most jobs, you have some commendably committed people and a few on the other end of the spectrum who just don't care and want an easy life.

With regard to uniformed PC's, I have had cause to phone Borough nick about a joy rider, obviously drunk as he could hardly stand! The police reaction was proportionate and speedy.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, I know what it's like!
Jai
Monday 3 March 2003 5.15pm
Dave,

you should remember that it is down to someone else who control where the PCSO's are and at what time. Senior officers are using them in Covent Garden as a physical detterence. (almost like security guards)
The PCSO's just follow a route as ordered.

they perform a real job at prevention and helping the public. They in turn for committing their time and efforts, get labeled negatively by many members of the public. Not something I would want to do, even at a reasonable salary. (nor would I like to be a policeman at 'proper' levels op remuneration)

Respect seems to be another reason for increasing crime-levels. The police are doing a thankless job (albeit badly) and morale must be pretty low.

The PCSO's of Covent Garden deserve respect. They are morally strong individuals who have chosen to help where help is needed. the comitment it requires is immense and welcome.
Most of them would prefer to be doing something more interesting then the task that they have been allocated, but without proper training (and I doubt that sometimes) they are not qualified to perform such functions.

I applaud anyone who gives his time to do something worthwhile.
I cannot, but have respect and admiration for those that do.


As for the regular police force - "SHAMBLES" - this country is falling apart at the seams. Law and order is one of those very large seams.



Varkenslachter
Monday 3 March 2003 5.24pm
Jai,

Do you think they are ignoring issues they haven't the resources to tackle in favour of ones they can?

I'm mainly thinking of burgulary and hard core drug dealing/gun crime

A few good points though and am seeing another side.

Dave
Monday 3 March 2003 6.47pm
One of the problems bringing in a new service such as PCSO'S is that it will take time for the public to realise who they are and what they can do.
they are not a police replacement, merely an addition to the Police.
As all new services you will get those that are not always suited to the job. hopefully over time this will get rectified.
although I do not cover the Covent Garden area I am familiar with most PCSO'S in the westminster area. there are good ones and bad ones as in all jobs. one of the key features of having them is that they are approachable. if you feel they are concerns regarding officers you have seen, then go and talk to them. remember they all have shoulder numbers and if you get a bad response then report them. the name says it all "community officers" we are there to help you.
In general the response i have had has been mixed. but people do feel safer seeing uniformed officers patrolling regularly. and hopefully it will free up more police to deal with the crimes that matter.
PCSO'S will have a hard time not only are they proving themselves to the public the are also having to do the same with the police. i think longterm it will work, hopefully most of us here at the start will still be there to see it.
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