Police Officers Part Time
Members of the Policing Board debated the future of Part Time Police Officers on 2 February 2006 within the PSNI and the future introduction of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Following extensive debate Policing Board Members agreed:
First, in principle to the recruitment of PCSOs, subject to:
- no variation between the vetting criteria for membership of the PCSO and those which govern regular police officers; and
- confirmation of the contents of the proposed terms of employment of the PCSO and the draft legislation respectively; and
Second, the rolling out of four new areas of recruitment in respect of Part Time Police Officers following a scoping studyby the PSNI.
In 2003 a pilot recruitment for part-time officers was completed in Newtownabbey, Lisburn, Banbridge and Coleraine. A total of 159 officers were appointed. As a result of the pilot scheme a complete evaluation of the scheme was completed by the PSNI. The results of the pilot scheme were presented to the Policing Board in October 2004.
A recruitment exercise to fill 150 posts in the Foyle, Moyle, Newry and Mourne, Ballymoney and South Belfast District Command Units commenced on 15 June 2006. The first recruits as Police Officer Part Time are currently undergoing training.
Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs)
PCSOs are designated civilian police support staff, designated with limited powers to undertake a variety of uniformed patrolling tasks but clearly focused on proactively and exclusively policing local neighbourhoods, reassuring the public and working with local people and partner agencies to address local problems.
In July, Members of the Policing Board, the DPPs and policing staff undertook a study visit to Lancashire and Merseyisde to observe PCSOs in operation. A tripartite working group has been established to progress the implementation of PCSOs in Northern Ireland.