DO you have what it takes to be a PCSO?

Avon and Somerset Police is taking applications for the role of Police Community Support Officers, who are part of community police teams, building relationships with local communities.

The roles have a starting salary of more than £19,000.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen said: “Neighbourhood Policing is the bedrock of policing across Avon and Somerset. Police and Community Support Officers are at are the heart of local communities.

"They are visible and engage with the public, provide reassurance, safeguard and problem solve. Being a PCSO is an exciting rewarding diverse job.

"We encourage people from all backgrounds to apply as we want our PCSOs to be a reflection of our communities. We need people with different perspectives and experience working for us, so we can be the best we can be.”

PCSO in training Richard Riley is due to start his role in a few weeks.

He said: “I made my very first application in 2009 and after another couple of attempts was pleased to be accepted at interview in January 2018.

"I found the application process demanding, but rightly so. It needs to be rigorous as it’s an important role. I worked in a desk job for a local parish council before taking up this role and wanted to become a PCSO because it’s a natural extension of who I am. I like to help people.

“I would say to anyone thinking about this path to simply have a go at the recruitment process. And not to give up if you’re unsuccessful the first time round.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “PCSOs help promote community safety and reduce the fear of crime with their proactive and visible presence. I continually hear considerable praise for our PCSOs from residents and how they are making a real difference to their local communities.

“It is essential that your police service represents the communities it serves, so the Constabulary are particularly encouraging applications from people with a wide range of skills, experience and from diverse backgrounds. I hope many more people consider this career within the policing service.”

Eligibility opened today (January 3) and those unsure about applying are advised to fill out the first stage, so that they can do the second stage, and main application.

Those who have completed the first stage have the opportunity to attend a Discovery Workshop at the St Werburgh’s Centre, Bristol, on January 15 from 9pm. Prospective applicants will be able to find out more about the role and have practical support filling the application form if needed.

Those interested in joining a workshop need to book a place in advance by emailing