Another PCSO of the Year Award

Photo courtesy of Anne Keevates

At the conclusion of The Avon and Somerset Police Authority and Constabulary Community Policing Awards, PCSO Gary Maule has been named their PCSO of the Year.

PCSO Maule, representing the Somerset East District had to beat off competition from PCSOs Michelle Kennedy (Bristol), Paul Fortune (South Gloucestershire), Barrington Scott (Bath & North East Somerset), Mark Leach (Somerset West) and Heather Searle (North Somerset).

The Community Policing Awards asks people to nominate police officers, staff and volunteers they feel have gone the extra mile to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for residents.

After careful deliberation, reviewing 672 public nominations including an impressive 345 for PCSOs the individuals and teams were selected as district winners.

For a full break down of the results and other category nominees, click here.

Congratulations to Gary and all those nominated – keep up the good work!

Click here to see an article about some of the great work PCSO Maule has done in the community that got recognised by the BBC.

Photo courtesy of Yosef M, Flickr

Police Commissioner Elections: Millions set to miss out on Voting

As followers of OntheBeat101 will know from some of our latest posts, modern policing and the internet are becoming increasingly intertwined (read posts on the importance of Twitter here).

As many as seven million people could be disadvantaged in November when commissioners are elected to set police budgets, the Electoral Commission says.

This is mainly because these voters will be denied crucial access to information on candidates for the new roles of police commissioner.

Ministers say elected commissioners will be more publicly accountable.

Police and crime commissioners [PCCs] will be elected in 41 force areas across England and Wales on 15 November.

They replace police authorities made up of local councillors, and will have the power to hire and fire chief constables

So what can be done?

Freeposts of information on candidates has been employed by the government in recent times and failure to do so will result in an angry backlash from those disadvantages and made public by bloggers such as Alex stevenson (read the blog on the issue here).

OntheBeat101 will be following progress on the issue and report again once resolutions have been made.

Champions of Community Safety 

Photo courtesy of Wharfdale Observer

A group of Junior Neighbourhood Watchers in Leamington have been learning how to stay safer on both buses and the internet under the tutelage of some local PCSOs.

The once a week after-school sessions have already been successfully run over six weeks at three primary schools.

PCSO Joe Holland said: “The children are all about to move on to secondary schools and so this is a good time to give them some basic tips about keeping safe. In some cases it can be simple things like travelling in pairs, where possible and trying to sit downstairs on a bus where the driver can see them.”

The youngsters were also shown fingerprinting techniques and given useful free gadgets such as a bell that could be attached to purses or bags to alert them to pickpockets.

PCSOs moan about sore feet… because they have to walk the streets

PCSOs moan about sore feet… because they have to walk the streets
Police Community Support Officers are complaining of sore feet – because they have to stand around and walk the streets.

A senior police offical has raised concerns over the issue of PCSO’s feet problems due to te amount of time they spend OntheBeat (sorry!).

The PCSO’s have apparently taking too much time off work sick, with foot-related problems said to be the primary cause for the increased absences (responsible for up to 30% of them).

Last year PCSOs in the Sussex force took an average of 11.5 days each off sick, compared with seven for police officers. The force target is eight.

However, at OntheBeat we feel that the increased presence of PCSOs on the street is one of the main reasons Blunkett introduced them and to lessen their working hours would be a crime in itself. Please vote in the poll below as we feel it’s important that whilst the PCSOs are looking after others, they must be looked after too!