Interview with Clerkenwell SNT: The truth about being a PCSO

PCSO Adam Bonney

Last week I went to interview Clerkenwell Safer Neighbourhoods Team on Goswell Road. It’s a very small team, made up of just three officers: Sgt Brian Quail, PCSO Adam Bonney and PCSO Matthew Evans

PCSO Evans has been in the job for six years, and is leaving to become a police officer this month, whereas PCSO Bonney has only been in the force for two and a half years. They were a friendly team, and overall seemed happy with the work they do and the response from the public in the area.

One of the most interesting things was to hear from PCSO Evans about the true remit of the job. When most people think of PCSOs they think of patrols on the streets, but he described his favourite part of the job as the work he does behind the scenes, such as helping out with youth groups in the area.

PCSO Matthew Evans

PCSO Matthew Evans on the best and worst parts of the job:

When asked about their relationship with police officers, both seemed fairly positive. Though there may have been tensions in the past, due mainly to poorly defined job roles for PCSOs, both were keen to put across that the situation is improving.

PCSO Matthew Evans on his relationship with police officers:

Sgt Brian Quail

One thing that did surprise me, however, was that neither of them wished to remain as a PCSO. Both saw it merely as a step to becoming a fully fledged police officer, and had only ever joined the job for this reason. Sgt Quail confirmed that the vast majority of the PSCOs he had worked with had wanted to follow this path as well.

It seemed to me that because of the unique demands of the job, a career as a PCSO is suited to a certain type of person- perhaps someone who gets satisfaction from being approachable and interacting with people on a personal level. However, for one reason or another it is not being seen as a separate career in itself, just as the first rung on the ladder.

I’m going to look into why this might be, and I’d be really interested in hearing anyone’s views on the subject. Whether you’re a PCSO turned police officer yourself, or a PSCO through and through who would never make the jump, please get in touch- we’d love to hear your story.