The PCSO supervisor role in Kent
Kent Police had 21 police community support officers (PCSOs) in its problem-solving task force.
To help with supervisory support for deployment, performance management and community engagement and activity, the force introduced the new role of PCSO team leader.
Three PCSO team leaders have been supervising the task force at Kent Police since October 2020.
Their responsibilities include:
- providing sustainable resourcing in targeted areas, providing a physical presence to build public confidence and reduce fear of crime
- managing personal development reviews and identifying learning and development needs to maintain consistently high performance from individuals and teams
- supervising the distribution of workloads across the team and work with senior leadership teams to prioritise activities
- completing health and safety risk assessments for PCSO activities
- developing community relations
The roles were approved and advertised at pay grade E – £3,000 per annum above the PCSO salary.
The successful applicants were highly motivated and experienced officers from the force's existing PCSOs, with between four and 15 years of service. The new role offered these officers an opportunity for development.
The force approved training to support them as supervisors alongside sergeants and detective sergeants. They received modular learning covering organisational leadership, personal leadership, command leadership and community resolutions. They also received training in social media usage and off-road 4x4 driving.
Each team leader now supervises a team of six PCSOs and has a bar on their epaulettes to visibly signify their position. They have personal development review objectives linked to team and personal performance, community confidence, management of staff and continual development.
Benefits for the force
Having leadership roles for PCSOs has given Kent Police many benefits.
- It allows effective supervision and deployment of a large number of PCSOs within the problem-solving task force. This enables support for all sections of the force with problem-solving and community activity.
- It supports agile and dynamic deployment to assist with increasing community confidence in the case of serious incidents and community tensions.
- Team leaders can share their experience as PCSOs to develop others.
Training PCSO team leaders as supervisors alongside police officers also has the benefit of raising their status within the force and increases their opportunity for professional development.