Why be a PCSO?

Why be a PCSO?

What does a Police Community Support Officer do?

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are uniformed police staff.  They provide a visible and accessible uniformed presence in the community, focusing on improving quality of life for the public.

They do not replace Special Constables. The role of PCSO is unique, designed purely to tackle anti-social behaviour and local issues affecting the quality of life.  Their focus is on crime prevention, rather than investigation and detection.

They do not replace police officers, they support them.  PCSOs carry out many of the tasks that do not require the experience or powers held by police officers.  This means that officers are able to devote their time to more appropriate duties.

How are PCSOs different to police officers?

PCSOs do not have the same powers as police officers and Special Constables.  For example, a PCSO does not have the same powers of arrest, but they can issue a fixed penalty notice or disperse groups.  The powers granted to PCSOs varies between police forces, so you may see PCSOs on TV documentaries doing things that PCSOs in other areas cannot.

One thing that PCSOs and police officers alike will tell you is that no two shifts are the same.  If you enjoy variety, meeting people and want to make your community a safer and more pleasant place to be, this is the job for you!

Are PCSOs paid employees or volunteers?

This is a paid role – the starting salary is £23,503.

"Nothing is better than helping someone when they are in need."

PCSO Lee Monk

Am I the right kind of person?

We need the right people keeping North Wales safe, so our PCSOs must show the six key leadership behaviours:

Public service

Everything we do is to make North Wales safer for the public. If you aren’t willing to focus on what matters to them and work out how best to achieve that, then this job is not for you.

Openness to change

“Change is the only constant in life.” Not just a random pearl of ancient Greek wisdom, it’s a fact of life in NWP. Laws change. Crime changes. Our organisation changes. As employees, we have to respond positively and flexibly, coming up with ways to work more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Decision making

As a PCSO you will be making decisions every single day. Whether it’s where to start searching for a missing child, or how to resolve a heated dispute between neighbours, every decision you make will impact on people’s lives. So it’s essential that you can be objective, professional and confident.


Everything about us matters. What we do, what we say, how we look. You’ll need to act with honesty and integrity, in line with our Force values and Code of Ethics. If you don’t have a strong work ethic or pride in what you do, then you might want to look elsewhere.

Service delivery

We have to be organised so we can deliver an effective service to the people of North Wales. You’ll need good communication skills and a methodical approach so that you can plan and organise your work effectively.

Working with others

As a PCSO, you’ll work with a lot of people – both within the Force and outside it. You’ll be part of a specific rota, but also part of a larger geographical team, which in turn is part of our Local Policing Services division. You’ll interact with departments such as forensics and other specialist areas, as well as our colleagues in the fire and health services. And of course you’ll be out and about meeting the public on a daily basis. So it’s vital that you can work co-operatively and that you treat people with respect and dignity, regardless of their circumstances.

It’s true that a lot of your work will be responsive – you’ll patrol the streets, break up fights, investigate crimes, maybe even chase people from time to time. But many people don’t realise how much time is spent pro-actively problem solving. Community-oriented policing focuses on helping people stay out of the criminal justice system, rather than on putting them into it.

Are you a good problem solver? Do you want to make a difference in your community? If you thrive on variety and challenge, why not apply to join Team NWP?

What to expect

Learn about life as a PCSO – what training and benefits you’ll get and the kind of work you’ll be doing.

Find out more

How to apply

Check whether you’re eligible to apply and learn all about the application process.

Learn more