As of this weekend (1st December), Merseyside Police’s Community Support Officers will be given an additional 17 powers.

All of the Force’s Police Community Support and Traffic Officers (PCS & TOs) now have the power to seize vehicles which are being driven anti-socially and to disperse crowds of youths among a number of other powers.

The increase comes following a decision by the Secretary of State to standardise the powers given to PCS & TOs across the country. There are now 20 standard powers and a number of discretionary ones, two of which have been awarded in Merseyside.

According to the Police website…

“A vital part of Merseyside Police”

Assistant Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “Community Support and Traffic Officers form a vital part of Merseyside Police’s extended policing family and have an important role to play in our Total Policing Strategy. The Force currently employs over 450 PCS & TOs, and they have always proved very popular with the people of Merseyside.

“They already offer a great deal of reassurance to the communities they serve, providing a highly visibly presence on the streets of Merseyside. This increase in their powers will allow them to play an even more active role, particularly where anti-social behaviour is concerned.

“Developed vital links”
“Since their introduction to Merseyside in 2002, PCS & TOs have successfully developed vital links with local shops, businesses and the community at large, getting involved in schools and community groups.

“I am incredibly proud of the work that they undertake alongside their police officer and staff colleagues. I know that they will relish the challenges that their new powers will offer them, but I can reassure the public that their primary focus will remain firmly within the neighbourhoods they serve, attempting to make a real difference to quality of life issues.”

The powers are as follows:
Power to …

  • Issue fixed penalty notices for cycling on a footpath
  • Issue fixed penalty notice for littering
  • Issue fixed penalty notice in respect of offences under dog control orders
  • Require Name and Address
  • Require Name and Address for Anti Social Behaviour
  • Require Name and Address for Road Traffic Offences
  • Require persons drinking in designated areas to surrender alcohol
  • Require persons aged under 18 to surrender alcohol
  • Seize tobacco from a person under 16
    Seize drugs and require name and address for possession of drugs
  • Enter and search any premises for the purposes of saving life and limb or preventing serious damage to property
  • Seize vehicles used to cause alarm
  • Remove abandoned vehicles
  • Stop cycles
  • Control traffic for purposes other than escorting a load of exceptional dimensions
  • Carry out road checks.
  • Place Signs
  • Enforce Cordoned Areas
  • Stop and Search in Authorised Areas
  • Photograph persons away from a police station

Plus 2 Discretionary powers. I’m still trying to work out what these are