PCSO changes in South Yorkshire to be announced soon

Changes: PCSO functions to change following reviewChanges: PCSO functions to change following review
Changes: PCSO functions to change following review
South Yorkshire's PCSOs - and the communities they serve - will be told what changes to their roles will be introduced next week.

South Yorkshire Police commanders will hold a meeting to clarify details of the new role PCSOs will play, drawn up after months of consultation, before an announcement is made to the affected staff.

Details will then be made public of how neighbourhood teams, re-introduced to communities more than a year ago, will operate in future.

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Police said they wanted to ensure their presence in neighbourhoods is as effective as possible and that could mean rebalancing numbers of PCSOs and officers working as community teams.

Police stressed that the review was not a cost-saving exercise, but was a way to ensure the resources going into neighbourhood work are spent as effectively as possible.

Options already discussed have included some PCSOs possibly retraining as constables, to increase enforcement powers to back up the work done to improve safety in communities.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has been involved in regular meetings with the review team.

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He has asked that if PCSOs do move to become warranted officers, they should be kept in the neighbourhoods where they have previously worked for as long as possible, to maintain continuity.

He also suggested that if any changes to working patterns, and allowances paid, were made they should be tapered to allow staff affected time to adjust to the new arrangements.