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Fedster

Traffic policing powers given to PCSOs

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Fedster

Lincolnshire Police is granting extra powers to its uniformed police staff.

Lincolnshire Police has PCSO cars, but the staff members won't be allowed to enforce the rules of the road from them

Lincolnshire Police has PCSO cars, but the staff members won't be allowed to enforce the rules of the road from them

Date - 2nd October 2018
By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle
5 Comments5 Comments}

 

PCSOs will be given the power to stop and seize cars, require drivers to show licenses and authorise the issue of traffic offence reports.

Lincolnshire Police has announced it is using the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 to give the uniformed police staff more powers.

The force will also be assigning its 118 police community support officers to record statements around low level crimes like shop theft.

Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “I have decided to designate additional powers to our PCSOs which focus on traffic issues and relate directly to [...] our commitment to tackling serious and fatal collisions on our road.”

He said the staff are the bedrock of neighbourhood policing, adding: “I’m keen that those existing relationships and ways of policing don’t disappear but shift more towards dealing with traffic-related issues.

"I am hopeful that a balance can be struck between carrying on with established responsibilities and also incorporating these new powers into the role of the PCSO.

“We know the areas where I’ve given extra powers are some of the most concerning to our communities and it is right that local officers can now tackle them direct, as well as alleviating pressure from other members of the force. All this helps us keep Lincolnshire as safe as possible.”

The additional powers centre around being able to authorise the issue of traffic offence reports for thing such as speeding, using mobile phones at the wheel and driving without a valid MOT.

They will have the power to stop motor vehicles, but only on foot, not from inside a police car.

Lincolnshire Police Federation chairman Jon Hassall said: “It’s a sad indictment of what the government has done to policing that we’re having to give extra powers to PCSOs to do things police should be doing.

“If anything goes wrong and escalates on the street it will be my cops that will have to get there and pick up the pieces straight away.”

Last week CC Skelly warned the force faces having to cut 40 per cent of its PCSOs, 60 police officers and 10 per cent of other staff if the government doesn't make funding changes.

Dorset Police recently gave some PCSOs responsibility for taking statements, calling them Police Community Support Investigators.

View On Police Oracle

 
 

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Radman

Instead of getting them out doing traffic reports why not get them out dealing properly with low level ASB by allow them to report on summons?

Seems far more within their remit than playing traffic cop.

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Shmook

Is the role of a PCSO still supposed to be non-confrontational? 

I would suggest that seizing a car may rile up a few of the customers - I know it did sometimes when I did it - and will this not lead them to be in a situation where they don't have any PPE? 

Happy to be corrected, and this is not meant as a slight on the role of a PCSO 🙂

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James255
1 hour ago, Shmook said:

Is the role of a PCSO still supposed to be non-confrontational? 

I would suggest that seizing a car may rile up a few of the customers - I know it did sometimes when I did it - and will this not lead them to be in a situation where they don't have any PPE? 

Happy to be corrected, and this is not meant as a slight on the role of a PCSO 🙂

I can't imagine their union will be very happy about this.

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HazRat
4 hours ago, Fedster said:

The additional powers centre around being able to authorise the issue of traffic offence reports for thing such as speeding, using mobile phones at the wheel and driving without a valid MOT.

They can write process reports about whatever they like, but their powers don’t actually cover them to issue FPN’s for all but a limited no. of traffic offences. Consequently they can’t actually stop any vehicles committing these offences (see schedule 10 to the 2014 ASB Act).

 

1 hour ago, Shmook said:

I would suggest that seizing a car may rile up a few of the customers - I know it did sometimes when I did it - and will this not lead them to be in a situation where they don't have any PPE?

They’re not getting any additional powers of seizure beyond S59 which they’ve had from day one. A bit of a non story unless I’ve missed something.

 

Its all well and good having all these extra traffic offence reports, I just hope they have a good admin system and court space. I read an article recently of one force who couldn’t process the volume of traffic offences.

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Zulu 22

Seems like the Chief is not the sharpest tool in the box.  Years ago some said PCSO's were nothing more than Policing on the cheap, with no powers.

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ParochialYokal

Whilst the ASB & Policing Act 2014 does give PCSOs more powers, this was kind of turned on it’s head when the Policing and Crime Act 2017 said that a PCSO can be given ANY police power other than the power of arrest and some particular powers that were specified.

I wonder if the PCC quoted the wrong legislation in their press release?

Without reading the legislation in detail, I believe that the 2017 Act would provide the mechanism for designating PCSOs with the power to enforce proper traffic offences (as opposed to minor ones that the 2014 Act provided, such as issuing a ticket for two people being on a one person pedal cycle).

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HazRat
2 hours ago, ParochialYokal said:

Whilst the ASB & Policing Act 2014 does give PCSOs more powers, this was kind of turned on it’s head when the Policing and Crime Act 2017 said that a PCSO can be given ANY police power other than the power of arrest and some particular powers that were specified.

I wonder if the PCC quoted the wrong legislation in their press release?

Without reading the legislation in detail, I believe that the 2017 Act would provide the mechanism for designating PCSOs with the power to enforce proper traffic offences (as opposed to minor ones that the 2014 Act provided, such as issuing a ticket for two people being on a one person pedal cycle).

Interesting. So that does open up a whole world of options to a CC who might want an alternative work force of less PC’s.

Reading that now, to me the lines between PC and PCSO will be blurred even further.

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Radman
3 hours ago, ParochialYokal said:

Whilst the ASB & Policing Act 2014 does give PCSOs more powers, this was kind of turned on it’s head when the Policing and Crime Act 2017 said that a PCSO can be given ANY police power other than the power of arrest and some particular powers that were specified.

I wonder if the PCC quoted the wrong legislation in their press release?

Without reading the legislation in detail, I believe that the 2017 Act would provide the mechanism for designating PCSOs with the power to enforce proper traffic offences (as opposed to minor ones that the 2014 Act provided, such as issuing a ticket for two people being on a one person pedal cycle).

What exactly is the point?

The vast majority of HO forces didn't use their PCSO's effectively with the base powers in law, just why has the government decided to throw even more powers towards PCSO's when it seems perfectly clear the vast majority of PCC's and Chief Constables have little intention to utilise them any further than they have done for 15 years or so since their introduction?

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James255

These are the new powers:

The additional powers will authorise the issue of traffic offence reports for:

  • Section 14 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Seatbelt for adults
  • Section 15 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Seatbelt for children
  • Section 16 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Motorcycles – no protective headgear
  • Section 47 Road Traffic Act 1988 – No MOT
  • Section 89 Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 – Speeding in a motor vehicle
  • Regulation 103 Roads Vehicles (construction and use) Regulations 1986 – Unnecessary Obstruction of the highway
  • Regulation 110 Roads Vehicles (construction and use) Regulations 1986 – Use of mobile phones when in control of a vehicle

Powers to support the issuing of traffic offence reports. These are:

  • Section 163 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Power to stop motor vehicles (on foot)
  • Section 164 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Require the production of a driving licence
  • Section 165 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Require the production of valid insurance and test certificate
  • Section 165A Road Traffic Act 1988 – Power to seize a motor vehicle with no insurance
  • Section 87 Road Traffic Act 1988 – Report for the offence of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence

https://lincolnshirereporter.co.uk/2018/10/pcsos-given-new-traffic-policing-powers/

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Zulu 22

They could always scrap PCSO's completely and employ them as Regular attested Police Officers with all the powers that go with that. That would also make them available for Policing 24/7 on a shift basis. The problem might be that they actually lose out on pay.

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BlueBob

If PCSOs are going to be used, in this time of value for money, efficiency etc, then anything less than than maximising and squeezing every teeny tiny element of what they could do is inefficient use of the resource.   Unless, of course, the costs of selection, training, administration and supervision out weights their use, in which case, why not document that it has been considered and is not of sufficient benefit to proceed with.    

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Zulu 22
4 hours ago, BlueBob said:

If PCSOs are going to be used, in this time of value for money, efficiency etc, then anything less than than maximising and squeezing every teeny tiny element of what they could do is inefficient use of the resource.   Unless, of course, the costs of selection, training, administration and supervision out weights their use, in which case, why not document that it has been considered and is not of sufficient benefit to proceed with.    

That is why they should be wound up and scrapped. Swear them in as warranted officers and have them actually Police the communities.

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Radman

I've got to admit in this day and age it's hard to justify the HO spending the amount it does on PCSOs when the money could go towards more warranted cops.

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BlueBob
11 hours ago, Zulu 22 said:

That is why they should be wound up and scrapped. Swear them in as warranted officers and have them actually Police the communities.

I started off saying “If they are going to be used ......” high seems to remain the case rather than the increase of officers.  

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