Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and special constables

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.