PCSOs: The Cut-Price Cops? is a short documentary investigating the changing role of police community support officers in England and Wales. They’re being given more power and responsibility at a time when the frontline of the police service is being drastically reduced by budget cuts.
The documentary examines whether it’s a risk that PCSOs are taking on a greater role. It follows an Avon and Somerset PCSO on duty and hears from senior members of the police service as well as high-profile politicians, who all have their own thoughts, and some concerns.
They’re on the beat and in the community, but is this policing on the cheap?
Accompanying the documentary, there’s a video diary giving a behind the scenes look at the making of the film with reactions from the interviews and time spent with the police.
You can also find a podcast discussing a key concern about PCSOs – are they replacing the traditional bobby on the beat?
Finally, there’s an article about the differing nationwide powers of PCSOs and what they really can do, using information collected from police forces nationwide.