Civilian beat officers to take to London’s streets

The Metropolitan police has started recruiting 300 community support
officers to assist the police and provide a visible presence on London’s
streets.

The Met’s HR director Martin Tiplady, told Personnel Today the new
civilian officers will be a major feature of London street policing by the end
of the financial year.

The recruits, who may have limited police powers, will initially guard
vulnerable premises and carry out short patrols. But Tiplady is optimistic that
once the proposed Police Reform Bill becomes law, CSOs will gain additional
powers.

These could eventually include the right to enter property, stop and search
suspects and enforce police cordons.

Tiplady said the CSOs represent a radical new part of the police family but
admitted there may be some initial resistance to their deployment.

"It is a new, vibrant role so people at the more traditional end of
policing may have questions about it, but these new staff are not
policemen," he said.

Tiplady said the Met had launched a media recruitment campaign and he
anticipated the first 100 recruits to be patrolling Westminster as early as
September.

In future, there will be three types of CSO: traffic, security and
community. The idea is to give a presence on the front line and free up police
time. "It is an exciting new role and we’re committed to it. They can be
full-time or part-time and will have a flexible working pattern," Tiplady
added.

The CSOs will have their own uniform and will earn around £20,000 per year.

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