What Powers Do PCSOs Have?

The Chief Constable of Hertfordshire has designated the following powers to Police Community Support Officers:

• Confiscation of alcohol from any person in a designated place
• Confiscation of alcohol from young people aged under l8
• Confiscation of alcohol from young people aged under l6
• Removal of abandoned vehicles
• Seizure of vehicles used to cause alarm, distress or annoyance after a warning has been given
• Enter property to save life or limb or to prevent serious damage
• Carry out road checks under section 4 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
• Place traffic signs
• Stop vehicles for the purpose of testing
• Stop cycles for riding on a footpath
• Regulate traffic for the purpose of escorting abnormal loads
• Enforce cordon areas under section 36 of the Terrorism Act 2000
• Stop and search of vehicles and items carried by persons in authorization areas in the company of a constable (sections 44 and 45 of the Terrorism Act 2000)
• Enforce local by-laws
• Deal with begging under section 3 & 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824
• Direct traffic for offences other than escorting an abnormal load
• Remove children in contravention of curfew notices to their place of residence under subsections 15(1)1 (2) and (3) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998
• Disperse groups and remove persons under 16 to their place of residence under Section 30 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.
PCSOs also have the power to require a person’s name and address in the following circumstances:
• Reasonable belief of a relevant offence
• Relevant fixed penalty notice
• Offence involving injury, alarm or distress
• Offence involving loss or damage to property
• Road traffic offence whereby a pedestrian fails to follow the directions of a PCSO
• Reasonable belief that a person is acting in an antisocial manner

Power to detain

A PCSO has the power to detain a person for a period of up to 30 minutes, pending the arrival of a police constable, or require the person to accompany them to a police station if the following offence is committed:

  • Failure to comply with a request to give name and address or gives a false or inaccurate name and address

A PCSO may also issue local authority fixed penalty notices for:

• Dog fouling
• Litter
• Graffiti/fly posting

And Hertfordshire Constabulary fixed penalty notices for:

• Cycling on a footpath
• Disorder