What is a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO)?

A ‘PCSO’ is a paid member of the public who volunteers to fulfil the role of a ‘Community Service Officer’, working for the Police Service in a local capacity. In the official literature, this role is usually referred to by the initials ‘CSO’ – and such a ‘Community Service Officer’ should not be confused with a ‘PC’, or ‘Police Constable’. A Community Service Officer IS NOT a Police Constable and as a consequence, does not automatically hold the powers of a Police Constable as defined in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).