Community Support Officers: Powers

Home Department written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers police community support officers (PCSOs) have to (a) stop members of the public, (b) enter private property, (c) demand information from members of the public and (d) issue fixed penalty notices; and what offences may an individual be committing by not co-operating with a PCSO.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

holding answer 8 October 2008

The full range of powers available to PCSOs are available at:

On the specific areas requested, a PCSO may (a) stop a member of the public in the course of the community support officer exercising his or her powers.

There is a specific power to stop and search under the Terrorism Act 2000 in authorised areas when in the company of and under the supervision of a constable.

On (b), a constable may enter and search any premises for the purposes of saving life and limb or preventing serious damage to property; and may enter licensed premises under section 180 of the Licensing Act 2003 for the purposes of investigating relevant licensing offences.

On (c), a PCSO may demand information which is necessary and relevant for them in the course of exercising their powers.

On (d), a PCSO may issue a fixed penalty notice in respect of the following:

cycling on a footpath; littering; offences under dog control orders; offences of disorder—there are 21 individual offences of disorder; truancy; excluded pupil found in a public place; dog fouling; graffiti and fly-posting.

Under section 46(2) of the Police Reform Act 2002, a person who resists or wilfully obstructs a designated person in the course of his duty is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment of a term not exceeding one month or to a level 3 fine or both.

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Danny Colyer
Posted on 23 Oct 2008 7:07 pm (Report this annotation)

A PCSO may issue a FPN for cycling on a footway, not for cycling on a footpath. The distinction is important.