Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) work with police officers and share some, but not all of their powers. Special constables are volunteers who have the same powers as police.


A PCSO can, for example:

  • give someone a fixed-penalty notice, eg for littering
  • demand the name and address of someone being anti-social
  • take alcohol off a person aged under 18

A PCSO can also ask a police officer to arrest a person.

The power of PCSOs can differ between police forces.

They must wear a uniform clearly marked ‘PCSO’.

Special Constables

Special Constables are volunteers but have the same powers as police officers.