Police Community Support Officer

A Police Community Support Officer or PCSO is a person who has similar rights to those of a police officer. A PCSO is a person who often works with local communities to combat crime. A PCSO is uniformed person but they do not have the power of arrest. They play a major role in combating crime, acting as a deterrent by patrolling the street and often deal with anti social behavior. The role of the PCSO have grown in popularity in recent years and it is now seen by some as a stepping stone to becoming a police officer.

History of Police Community Support Officer

Police community support officers were introduced by the Police Reform Act 2002 in England and Wales. Acceptance of the proposal for PCSOs in Northern Ireland was rejected by a budget deficit in the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Police officers cannot, by law, join any trade union, but as non-police officers, the Community Support Officer is an exception. The role of the community officer is not and should not be confused with the role of a special constable. A special constable is a citizen who volunteers to works a police officer for a minimum of 16 hours per month. PCSO’s work full time often on a shift basis in a similar way to police officers.

As a police community support officer you will work alongside the police, patrolling the local area, dealing with minor incidents and offenses. You would provide assistance to the police and a visible presence in the area to reassure the public. Part of the reason behind the introduction of the community officer was to try and restore confidence in the public that something visible was being done to reduce crime.

Duties and work of the Police Community Support Officer

PCSO’s duties would fluctuate depending on the requirements of the local police force and but they most probably include:

-Dealing with public disturbances and anti-social behavior

-Help to direct traffic

-protecting crime scenes

-giving advice on crime avoidance to members of the local community

-writing fixed penalty notices for anti-social behavior

-keeping a suspect in custody until a police officer arrives

-Providing assistance at large public events, such as sports events and public protests.

Sometimes PCSO works by own or in pairs or in small teams, under the direction of the police leader in local area.

PCSOs work 37 hours a week, in a shift system, usually covering the hours between 8am and midnight, including weekends and public holidays. There are opportunities to work part-time and fl exible hours.

They carry radios so that they can communicate with police control rooms and other colleagues. PCSOs spend most of their time out on patrol, usually on foot or possibly also on a bicycle. They work in pairs or small teams, and in liaison with their police officer colleagues.

Necessary qualifications

There are no formal or educational qualifications required to become a community officer and this is why this job has continued to grow in popularity. There is a minimum age restriction requirement that the person applying has to be 16 years of age. However, some police forces will also require that the candidate have experience of working within the community whether it is paid or voluntary, and it may be helpful if the candidate have a driving license.

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Courts Count for the Quality of Your Community

I recently attended a conference on the essential qualities resulting from the best-planned, best organized communities. Items like affordable housing and recreational opportunities immediately came to mind. People need shelter that matches a budget and they need recreational opportunities for health and exercise as well as places to visit like parks, lakes, or rose or vegetable gardens. One of the guest speakers, a local judge, added that good communities also have an excellent court system.

Of course, the safety of a community arises from sound law enforcement and a fair judicial system. If officers are out and about in a community, with their eye out for the well being of citizens, those who live in a community are able to feel secure and live knowing that they are safe. Whether they are in their backyard for a barbecue or out for a walk through the neighborhood, knowing officers are on duty is a priority is reassuring that a community is protected. And, I believe, safety breeds safety just as dangerous neighborhoods so often breed danger.

When laws are broken it is critical that the judicial system is in top working order. It makes no sense to arrest or charge willy-nilly, but rather with the best intentions and the best plans for the safety of a community. Officers who are brash are often as dangerous as the criminals they are looking for just as officers who enjoy donuts and coffee more than patrolling and keeping an eye on a community, do not fulfill the commitment and responsibilities of their job. I just want things in my community to be fair, with citizens served with honesty and trustworthiness. Living in a small town I have the advantage of knowing most of our officers. I admire their dedication to their job and those of us who live there. I know that if I ever need help they will be on the scene in a flash to assist me.

From the work of these officers those who have or who allegedly have broken laws appear before a judge. The judge provides probably the most important factor in maintaining the safety of a community. As not all cases are cut-and-dried, it is invaluable that the judge be able to examine each case in an individual fashion. Sometimes bad things just seem to happen while at other times crimes are perpetrated. The judge has to see through all of this and then determine a punishment that is fair and that also serves as a life-long deterrent. If the judge is too lax, the criminal is very likely to become a courtroom regular; if the judge is too severe, a person’s life can end up dedicated to the four walls of a cell.

Yes, our speaker is absolutely correct: The courts of a community, regulated by the judge or judges of that community, do count for the quality of the community and thus the safety and security of every resident. I thank my local judges for their wisdom and devotion. They do make a very positive difference.

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Office Communicator, Office Talk, and the Future of Social Networking

According to Microsoft Labs, Microsoft is further exploring its role in social networking by unveiling its latest experiment, Office Talk. What is Office Talk and what does it mean for the future of Microsoft?

Microsoft’s growing market share in corporate social networking

In 1997, Microsoft first expressed its interest in corporate social networking by launching Outlook, Microsoft’s email client and personal information manager. In 2005 Microsoft launched Office Communicator, an instant messenger specifically designed for corporations. Not only is it a great way to keep in touch with employees within an organization, it’s also integrated with MS Outlook to provide cross functional features. With the current release of Microsoft’s latest experiment, Office Talk, which is a microblogging system like Twitter designed for the corporate environment, it got me thinking about the path that Microsoft has been taking and where they might be headed.

Now that Windows 7 is a complete success, (and the corporation isn’t frantically trying to rebound from its most notorious blunder, Vista) it will have more time to devote itself to social networking projects like Office Talk. Twitter users, like myself, are probably very aware of the potential value that a microblogging system could bring to the corporate world. Most people probably couldn’t imagine business communications without email. I personally can’t imagine a corporate setting without an instant messenger service like Office Communicator, and I suspect that in the near future, corporations will never be the same once microblogging takes effect.

Microblogging could forever change intra business communications

Imagine a corporate building packed with hundreds of employees, all nicely tucked away in their cubicles like Tetris blocks. One of the employees has a question about a certain procedure, but he’s limited to asking employees who are near by. Imagine if that same corporation were linked together with a microblogging tool like Twitter. The employee could “tweet” a question, and another employee might respond back to him within minutes. That same employee could also search for tweets to find answers to his question that other employees have posted in the past.

Outlook, Communicator, and Talk

If Microsoft does in fact create a new “Twitter for corporations” service based on Office Talk, it would definitely be tightly integrated with MS Outlook and Communicator. How cool would it be to have all three systems working together?

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