Avon and Somerset Police are inviting members of the public in the Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge area who are interested in a new career in the local community to apply for a position as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO).

Applications for scores of the positions across the force region opened on Tuesday 28th January.

PCSOs are part of community police teams and, as part of the neighbourhood policing team, they build relationships with local people to provide reassurance and understand the policing issues that matter most to them.

PCSOs work with individuals and partner agencies to support vulnerable people and solve local concerns and issues.

Due to the nature of the role, candidates can bring skills from a variety of life backgrounds.

They may have come from a career in customer service or community liaison; they might have worked for another blue light organisation; they may have recently left college or university or be returning to work after raising a family.

PCSOs have flexible working partners and shifts, allowing for a healthy work-life balance, which can fit comfortably around child care and other commitments.

The police force can offer successful applicants a starting salary of £19,719 plus allowances for working shifts and weekends, a government pension scheme, and the opportunity to make a real difference to local communities in Bristol, Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath.

Will White, Head of Neighbourhoods and Partnerships, says: “Being a PCSO is a totally unique, people focused job at the heart of communities across Avon and Somerset. PCSOs have an unparalleled understanding of the needs and concerns of local people stemming from their ability to build strong relationships within communities. PCSOs play a central part in neighbourhood policing and are a hugely valued member of our policing family.”

“We are encouraging people from all backgrounds to apply as we want our PCSOs to be a reflection of the communities we serve. In order to offer the best service possible, we need people who come from different backgrounds and can offer a fresh perspective to the role.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “PCSOs make a real difference to our communities by working to tackle the crimes that matter to local people. They help promote community safety and reduce the fear of crime with their proactive and visible presence.”

“Neighbourhood policing is at the heart of our communities and is essential to ensuring Avon and Somerset remains a safe place to live and work. Local people continually tell me how much their local neighbourhood policing teams, which include PCSOs, mean to them.”

“It is essential that your police service represents the communities it serves, so the Constabulary are particularly encouraging applications from people with a wide range of skills, experience and from diverse backgrounds. If you are committed to supporting your local community, becoming a PCSO could be the role for you, so don’t hesitate to apply.”

PCSO Sam Bushen said: “When I applied, I originally wanted to use the PCSO role as a potential ‘stepping stone’ to help me one day with applying to be a police officer. But I quickly realised when I started this role that I had no intentions of doing that, because of the enjoyment I was getting from my PCSO role.”

“I have the ability and time to go into schools, engaging with children and giving them advice on how to be safe and teach them about respect and how we are approachable. I am able to comfort a vulnerable elderly person into knowing they aren’t alone and that there is someone to talk to if they need it. And I can solve persistent issues across my beat. Every day is without a doubt different.”

“Having two children, I also have a flexible shift pattern, which is really helpful. Being a PCSO isn’t a career, it’s a lifestyle choice. The way you see life will change but that isn’t a negative. You see the world in a different way, but knowing you have helped bring justice, support and care to victims or those involved with the police is very rewarding.”

For more information about PCSO recruitment, see http://bit.ly/12ApplyToBeAPCSO.


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