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.'