Meet PCSO Fiona Holt
Role: Police Community Support Officer
Length of service: 7 years – and I’ve never looked back!
What was your previous career?
After leaving school I worked in retail for a long time before training to work in childcare. After some hard life changes I felt like I needed to re-evaluate my life and decided to become a PSCO after taking part in a police ride-along.
What transferable skills do you feel you brought to the role?
Within retail I learnt a lot of communication skills and through dealing with people of all ages through childcare and retail I learnt a lot about empathy. You have to be a good listener in this role and be all things to all people. Being non-judgemental and understanding is vital to working closely with your local area.
As a PSCO you don’t have arresting powers – do you ever feel threatened?
Not really, I feel very protected. We work closely with officers and always have back up. Good radio communication is key – letting people know where you are and when you have moved to another job. But someone will always be checking up on you to make sure you’re okay.
What advice would you give to a new PSCO?
Learn from your colleagues – everyone has an individual way of community policing and you will learn your own way through the experience of others. It’s one big team and there is always someone to ask but every day is a learning day so take it in your stride. Don’t give up; it took me a year to get in but I was determined that this was what I wanted to do and it’s genuinely been the best job I’ve ever had.
What is a typical day as PSCO?
There isn’t one! Every day is different and that’s what I love about the job. You can go from checking on emails and briefings in the morning to standing watch at a crime scene or helping at jobs when an officer has to leave on an immediate. Then you can be straight off again to help with antisocial behaviour or be a positive presence in the community, as well as gathering intelligence and helping officers queries about people in the community.
It’s amazing how many people you work with in just one day!
What do you feel is important about being a PSCO?
It’s the difference you can make within the communities. Especially at the moment, policing has to adapt and change and PSCOs have had to be a different kind of community police officer; being a reassuring presence and just showing the public that we are there for them in their time of need. We are constantly thinking about other people and we care. Every day I think ‘If I can make a difference to just one person I’ve made a difference in mine’.
If Fiona’s story has inspired you to consider a career as a PCSO, visit our PCSO page for further information and to begin your journey!