A NORTH Swindon PCSO has stressed the importance of community support officers in helping residents overcome problems in their neighbourhoods.

In a bid to promote promote Wiltshire Police’s PCSO recruitment campaign, North Swindon Community Policing team Sergeant Ben Huggins has opened up about what the role means to him and the people he serves.

PCSOs focus on neighbourhood issues, working with a range of local stakeholders on what really matters to them,” he said.

“This allows me as a sergeant to accurately target resources based on their work and the information they gather.

“PCSOs are valuable because they get to know the individuals within a community.

“Working with local people over longer periods of time they can build up relationships, which is something regular officers often do not get the chance to do.”

The PCSO role is different to that of a regular police constable. They do not have the power of arrest and are much more community engagement focused.

Every day can offer new experiences and challenges. Undertaking foot patrols they act as an effective crime deterrent, especially regarding anti-social behaviour.

Speaking from his own experiences, Ben said: “A good PCSO will be able to think on their feet and use their initiative.

“I would advise anyone who is thinking about applying to become a PCSO to go for it.

“All of our teams are very welcoming and you will be given a great deal of support.

“You will be exposed to a wide range of situations that will open your eyes and allow you to see your community in a different perspective. It is a role with a chance to make a difference.”

If you think you could do the job, applications are open until 5pm on Monday. Successful candidates will begin training in early September.

Some of a PCSO’s key tasks involve community liaison, regular foot patrols and traffic management, plus much more.

If you would like any further information or have any questions visit www.wiltshire.police.uk/jobs/pcso or contact their recruitment team on applications@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk or 01380 861121.