Over 2,000 PCSOs investigated for misconduct.

Posted: March 22, 2010 in Law & Disorder

More than 2,000 police community support officers have been investigated for misconduct and more than 160 charged with criminal offences since the role was created in 2002.
Figures obtained from police forces show that there has been roughly one inquiry for every seven of the civilian patrollers now employed, for alleged rule-breaking ranging from criminal activity to rudeness.

A survey of forces across England and Wales, using the Freedom of Information Act, has shown a high number of disciplinary actions and dismissals.

There have been at least 2,233 investigations into PCSOs for alleged misconduct. A total of 16,300 PCSOs are now serving nationally.

Since the role was created 167 PCSOs have been charged with crimes, while 276 have been dismissed.

The 2,200 inquiries have been led by each force’s professional standards department, which look into allegations of corruption and misconduct.
The true number of investigations are likely to be higher because five of the 43 forces failed to provide figures for inquiries.

They included West Yorkshire, which was the only force in England and Wales to refuse to supply any information at all about the number of PCSOs who faced investigations or were charged with crimes.

Britain’s largest force, the Metropolitan Police, has staged 311 misconduct inquiries into PCSOs. After this, the highest totals were 165 in Hampshire and 151 in the West Midlands.

Four other forces – Cambridgeshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex and Leicestershire – have staged more than 100 inquiries.

The Met saw the largest number of dismissals, with 117, and the highest number of PCSOs charged with a criminal offence, with 107.

Of the forces which provided figures, six refused to disclose how many PCSOs had been charged with a criminal offence. They were Essex, Greater Manchester, Northamptonshire, Northumbria, Thames Valley and West Midlands.

  1. At least 2,233 out of 16,300. This does not fill anyone with confidence I think. I wonder what it costs to investigate all these allegations, and whether it might have been more sensible to train proper police in the first place!

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