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Date Responded 28 April 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

  1. Please may you provide me with an up to date list that details which discretionary powers are designated for Police Community Support Officers in your force if they are used within your force?
  2. If you do utilise Police Community Support Officers, what are the advantages of having both Police Community Support Officers as well as regular Police Constables?
  3. If you do not have Police Community Support Officers, what are the reasonings/advantages to this?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted within Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. Police Community Support Officers (PCSO)

1 Issue fixed penalty notices for:

a Riding a pedal cycle on a footpath;

b Offences under dog control orders (Local Authority notices);

c Littering (Local Authority notices);

d Graffiti or fly-posting (Local Authority notices);

e A relevant byelaw offence (notices of a relevant authority); or

f A public nuisance offence listed below under Chapter 1, Part 1 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 (known as Penalty Notices for Disorder):

i Being drunk in a highway, other public place or licensed premises.

ii Knowingly giving a false alarm to a fire brigade.

iii Trespassing on a railway.

iv Throwing stones etc. at trains or other things on railways.

v Sale of alcohol to a person U18.

vi Delivery of alcohol to a person U18.

vii Buy or attempt to buy alcohol on behalf of U18.

viii Sells or attempts to sell to a person who is drunk.

ix Disorderly behaviour while drunk in a public place.

x Wasting police time or giving a false report.

xi Using a public telecommunications system in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.

xii Consumption of alcohol in a designated public place.

xiii Use of insulting or abusive behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

xiv Breach of fireworks curfew.

2. Require name and address of a person where there is reason to believe that person has:

a committed an offence mentioned in (1) (a) - (f) above;

b committed an offence that appears to have caused injury, alarm or distress to any other person, or damage or loss of any other person’s property;

c failed to follow an instruction to disperse (Sec 32(2) ASB Act 2003);

d breached a relevant byelaw;

e committed an offence of begging (Sections 3 and 4 Vagrancy Act 1824); or

f been acting, or is acting, in an anti-social manner.

3. Require a person to wait with him/her, for a period not exceeding thirty minutes, for the arrival of a constable where a requirement to provide a name and address under 2 (a)-(f) above or 9 below has been made and the person has failed to comply or there are grounds for suspecting that the information provided is false or in accurate. This power is also referred to as the ‘power to detain’.

Note the power does not apply where the initial requirement relates to an offence listed in 1 (f) (v), (vii) or (ix), above, where the offence is believed to have been committed on licensed premises.

4. Photograph persons away from a Police station.

5. Require a person to stop drinking in a designated public area and to surrender containers of alcohol.

6. Search with consent for alcohol and tobacco.

7. Require persons under 18 to surrender alcohol.

8. Seize cigarettes and tobacco from persons who appear to be under

9. Seize drugs and require name and address for possession of drugs.

10. Enter property to save life or limb, or to prevent serious damage to property.

11. Seize vehicles used to cause alarm and distress.

12. Carry out road check (as authorised by Supt or above) and stop vehicles for that purpose.

13. Remove abandoned vehicles.

14. Stop cycles when reason to believe an offence of cycling on footpath has been committed.

15. Control traffic.

16. Place and maintain traffic signs.

17. Require name and address of driver or pedestrian who fails to follow direction of PCSO.

18. Enter off-licensed premises and when in the company of a constable, on-licensed premises.

19. Require a person to stop begging.

20. Disperse groups and remove persons under 16 to their place of residence (when authorised under Section 30 ASB Act 2003).

21. Enforce relevant byelaws

22. Disperse persons from a specified area and confiscate items in accordance with s35 and 37 Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

23. Seize and retain items in accordance with s19 PACE 1984.

24. Enforce certain licensing offences in accordance with the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

25. Issue a fixed penalty notice for parking in a restricted area outside schools.

2. PCSOs provide public facing and problem solving services in connection with patrol, neighbourhood investigation, neighbourhood offenders and co-ordination / promotion of services for under-represented groups, by engaging with members of the community, both within police stations and community environments, in order to support Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT). They assist the Force greatly by increasing visible policing whilst walking through communities.

3. N/A.

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