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Unison, the UK's largest union, today welcomed the announcement that more ...
Unison, the UK's largest union, today welcomed the announcement that more

than 1,000 community support officers (CSO) are to be recruited to work

alongside police officers in tackling disorder and anti-social behaviour and

carrying out routine patrols to increase visible policing.

CSO's are a new police support staff role coming out of the recent Police

Reform Act, which represents the most radical remodelling of the police

workforce in the past 20 years.

Unison, which represents 27,000 police support staff, has supported the

government in its drive to upskill and empower members who work as police

staff to contribute more in the fight against crime and disorder.

The union is calling for a flexible approach that would allow forces to

tailor proposed increased powers for CSO's to local circumstances.

Ben Priestley, Unison national officer for police support staff, said:

'The latest figures show that 11 crimes are reported every minute in England

and Wales so it's clear we need fresh thinking to get those figures down.

'Unison believes that given the right training, proper resources and

adequate pay, community support officers can play a vital role and help

soothe public fears.

'Unison fully supports the measures in the Police Reform Bill which will

give increased powers to a range of support staff roles, including traffic

wardens, detention officers and community support officers. The additional

powers proposed will enable support staff to give effective back-up to

police officers and free up their time for important operational work.

'Unison's police branches are now talking to members and chief constables

about ways in which these new powers can best be delivered.'

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