Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
More than 1,000 community support officers (CSOs) could be on the ...
More than 1,000 community support officers (CSOs) could be on the

streets within months as part of a recruitment drive to increase the

visibility of officers on the beat and tackle anti-social behaviour,

home secretary David Blunkett announced today.

More than half of the forces in England and Wales applied for, and

are to receive, funding from the£19m set aside to kick-start the

introduction of CSOs.

Attending the launch of the Metropolitan Police Service's police

community support officers in London, Mr Blunkett said these officers

are key to the police reform programme and will complement the work

of the record 129,603 police officers in England and Wales. They will

help to bring higher visibility of officers on the beat and tackle

nuisance crime, he added.

Among the 27 forces receiving funding, six have been selected to

pilot detention powers for CSOs, as set out in the Police Reform Act.

These are the Metropolitan Police Service, West Yorkshire,

Lancashire, Devon and Cornwall, Northamptonshire and Gwent.

Mr Blunkett said:

'CSOs will play a complementary role to police officers in tackling

disorder and anti-social behaviour and carrying out routine patrols

to increase visible policing in our communities and provide

reassurance to the public. They will help free up the record 129,603

police officers we have; enabling them to better tackle street

robbery and other serious crime.

'More than half the forces in England and Wales have applied for

these officers demonstrating the commitment there is among the police

for CSOs. The Metropolitan Police Service is leading the way and has

already started training their new CSOs.

Home Office Police Minister John Denham said:

'We are committed to CSOs , the funding being announced today is to

kick-start their introduction over the next year. Further funding

will be made available to forces over the next three years to ensure

CSOs become a firm part of our future policing plans in this country.

'Under the Police Reform Act we agreed to meet concerns about CSOs

having the power of detention by piloting this before making it

available nationally. We feel these powers are essential if CSOs are

to be properly equipped to do their job.

'CSOs are not policing on the cheap. They will not replace police

officers. They are an additional resource aimed at further reducing

crime and the fear of crime and their introduction has been worked up

in close consultation with the Police Service.'

Among the 27 forces who will be introducing CSOs over the coming

months will be:

- Metropolitan Police Service - 500 CSOs based in Central London and

other London Boroughs to undertake security patrols and complement

community policing.

- Devon and Cornwall - plans to introduce two teams of 10 CSOs in

both rural and urban communities. In the rural town of Honiton,

which has a high elderly population, the CSOs will focus on

reducing the fear of crime. In Truro the emphasis will be on

community regeneration with CSOs working with organisations such as

neighbourhood watch.

- Lancashire - the constabulary will deploy up to 72 CSOs across the

force area reinforcing the progress made during the Street Crime


- Greater Manchester - 160 CSOs will be deployed forcewide and

attached to uniformed colleagues. They will be directed to crime

hotspots and areas identified by the Crime Reduction Partnerships.


1. The£19m for CSOs for 2002/3 was announced on May 1st.

2. CSOs are a key part of our Police Reform programme. They will be

police authority employees who will provide a highly visible policing

presence on streets and in neighbourhoods. The Police Reform Act

allows chief officers to give them limited powers to deal with

anti-social behaviour and disorder. This includes a power of

detention for 30 minutes, which will be piloted in 6 areas for the

first two years.

3. The decision whether to appoint CSOs is a matter for individual

chief officers. It is up to Chief Constables and police authorities

to decide whether CSOs are right for the particular force in

question. CSOs will be fully trained for their role and will be

accountable in the same way as police officers. They will be under

the direction and control of the chief officer and subject to the new

police complaints system, when it has been established.

4. Community Support Officers are different to Accredited Community

Safety Officers. Accredited Community Safety Officers will be members

of the extended police family employed by local authorities or the

private sector, such as shopping centre security staff, who already

work closely with the Police. Accreditation under the Police Reform

Act will ensure that the activities of such staff are effectively


5. Community Support Officers are different to Neighbourhood Wardens.

Neighbourhood Wardens are employed by local authorities and housing

associations to provide a uniformed, semi-official presence in a

residential area with the aim of improving quality of life. Street

wardens may be employed by local authorities or other organisations

(sometimes private) and are a newer variation on the warden theme.

6. Last week the home secretary announced record police numbers and a

blueprint to tackle police bureaucracy.

7. Details of the Police Reform Act and wider police reform programme

are published at The Police Reform Act and

Explanatory Notes are published at



258/2002 WHICH WAS ISSUED AT 06.00 HRS, 23 SEPTEMBER 2002

CSOs Bids costing and numbers for Police Forces in England and Wales

Cost 2002-3 CSO Numbers

Avon and Somerset 214,350 12

Cambridgeshire 77,490 6

Cheshire 48,345 6

Cleveland 300,000 40

Devon and Cornwall 153,620 20

Dorset 105,135 6

Durham 113,887 10

Essex 118,735 10

Greater Manchester 1,426,607 160

Gwent 169,029 30

Hertfordshire 161,465 14

Kent 264,418 18

Lancashire 946,477 72

Leicestershire 344,673 25

Lincolnshire 151,175 20

Merseyside 520,000 40

Metropolitan 12,000,000 500

Norfolk 136,002 12

Northamptonshire 270,862 12

Nottinghamshire 222,577 12

South Yorkshire 288,625 12

Surrey 250,000 52

Sussex 251,774 22

Warwickshire 89,772 10

West Mercia 68,789 10

West Yorkshire 534,204 60

Wiltshire 131,666 15

Total 19228011 1,206

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.