The government has begun a £3.8m push to increase the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) by 10,000, the Home Office has announced.
The government hopes to hit its target of a total of 16,000 PCSOs by next year through a TV, newspaper and poster campaign, which will feature cartoon officers dealing with anti-social behaviour such as fighting.
Home secretary John Reid said PCSOs played a critical role in neighbourhood policing and have had a major impact.
“Their uniformed presence on our streets makes a real difference in driving down low-level crime and anti-social behaviour,” he said.
Association of Chief Police Officers spokesman, assistant chief constable Steve Finnigan said recruiting more PCSOs would help to ensure that the police service could continue to make in-roads into preventing, tackling and detecting crime and disorder.