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Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

Powers of community support officers

76.Police community support officers (“PCSOs”) were introduced in 2002. The main elements of the PCSO role include engaging with the public; providing a visible police presence; enforcing the law and preventing crime, particularly low-level crime and anti-social behaviour; and gathering information.

77.The powers available to PCSOs are provided in Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”). They comprise 20 standard powers that all PCSOs hold (for example, the power to issue a fixed penalty notice for littering and to seize tobacco from a person aged under 16) and further discretionary powers that may be designated by the chief constable.(35) The provisions in section 152 and Schedule 10 add further discretionary powers.


A list of both standard and discretionary powers is available on

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