Police officers and PCSOs…. friends or enemies?
The first time I opened the Manchester Evening News after arriving back up here for Christmas I came across this very interesting article:
In it, Greater Manchester police chief Peter Fahy has announced plans to appoint 200 brand new voluntary and community police officers, including 60 PCSOs, amid sweeping job cuts across the force. A silver lining, you might think, but the proposal seems to have been causing an uproar- the M.E.N. claims police officers have been left ‘mystified’ and the comments section below is none too kind either.
What strikes me about this is the stark ‘us and them’ attitude between regular police and PCSOs that the article portrays. It suggests quite powerfully that police officers view PCSOs and voluntary officers as a completely separate entity, not a part of their community to be supported and encouraged.
But is this really a true reflection of the way things are? We’d love to get your opinions. How are you as PCSOs treated by standard police officers- have they been kind and welcoming or have they looked down on you? And police officers- what do you think of PCSOs? Are they a welcome addition to the force or would you rather they just weren’t there?
Leave your comments below or drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll be keeping up with this story and hopefully turning the best stories in to a feature in the weeks to come. Watch this space- we’ll be posting updates on @onthebeat101