West Yorkshire Police is due to open its latest recruitment drive by inviting budding Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) to join the Force.
At the beginning of the year, the Force announced that additional PCSOs were being recruited over the next 12 months to join the 523 PCSOs already employed. During the last recruitment drive in July the Force received 274 applications.
As part of this, the Force is demonstrating its commitment to the communities it serves by recruiting new PCSOs. The recruitment window opens this Thursday, October 6 and will run until Sunday, October 23.
Police Community Support Officers work as part of a Neighbourhood Policing Team, which includes other police colleagues, and contribute to the policing of neighbourhoods, mainly through high visibility patrol, reassuring the public, dealing with local problems and being contactable by local communities and partner agencies.
They have powers to deal with antisocial behaviour in public places, alcohol and tobacco offences, some minor parking obstruction offences and, specifically in West Yorkshire, have the power to detain people for up to 30 minutes for certain offences until a police officer arrives.
PC Amjad Ditta, the Force’s Positive Action Co-Ordinator, and PCSO Sarah Barberini will be hosting a live question and answer session on Facebook tomorrow, Wednesday, October 6, at 6pm. It will provide people with the opportunity to find out more about the role of PCSO, the training process, daily tasks, career progression and the salary. Those who wish to join in should visit www.facebook.com/westyorkshirepolice
PC Ditta worked as a PCSO before becoming a police officer in 2005 so has a valuable insight into the reality of both jobs.
PCSO Barberini joined the Force nine years ago as a groom in the Mounted Section. Three years later she successfully applied to become a PCSO. She started off in Huddersfield but now works in the Wakefield district where she has been for almost six years. Sarah was the first PCSO to have own social media account and regularly shares her experiences about her role on Twitter @WYP_SBarberini.
She said: “The priority of the role is about making the public feel safer and reducing the fear of crime. You have a really hands on experience of frontline policing and helping the community.
“Often we are the first contact people have with the police and we can put things in place to start helping and improving people’s lives.”
She added: “I especially like school visits and engaging with the children and local community.”
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Battle said: “There is no career quite like policing and we are seeking the very best to join us.
“People from diverse backgrounds and cultures are welcomed into West Yorkshire Police to bring with them fresh ideas and a variety of skills, attitudes and experiences.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) have a vital role to play in keeping our communities safe and feeling safe and that is why I set a budget, which was backed by the public, to protect their numbers and allow some new recruitment.
“If you’d like to know more about the role I would urge you to visit West Yorkshire Police’s website and take advantage of the excellent information and interactive resources being provided by PC Amjad Ditta, PCSO Sarah Barberini and Danny Wilks.”
On Thursday, October 6, Resourcing Manager, Danny Wilks, will host an online web chat on the Force’s website to provide further information about the recruitment process and there will be a another webchat the following Monday, October 10. Both will be live from 7pm-8pm.
You can join the live web chat at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/recruitment/recruitment-webchat
If you have any questions about recruitment you can also follow PC Ditta on Twitter and Facebook where you can message him any questions. There also previous Facebook Live videos here to watch.