Read Claire's story
Before starting my policing journey as a PCSO I was a stay at home mum for seven years. I decided to join in 2018 when I asked my five-year-old daughter what she wanted to be when she grows up and she said “Like mummy, stay at home all day”. After I heard her response I decided she needed to see she can do whatever she wants to do, and as this was a job I had always wanted to go for I decided to apply for the role.
I chose Bedfordshire Police because I have always lived in the county and wanted to make a difference to the community. Joining the police is something I’d always wanted to do but as a mum of two I didn’t think the role as a police officer would work for me. The PCSO role has a lot more flexibility around working hours and gives a good insight into becoming a PC.
Being a mum of two young children is a skill in itself, especially knowing how to juggle multiple things at a time. Being organised and adapting to different situations are also key skills that have helped me in my PCSO role.
When I first started my initial training it was very strange, it was a bit like going back to school, but once I met my cohort and we started learning it was so interesting. There are three stages of training; classroom learning, first aid and defence training and role play exercises.
I think the most important quality to be a PCSO is good people skills, good communication and being able to understand and relate to different members of the public. My favourite part of being a PCSO is going into schools and speaking with the children. We also regularly come into contact with elderly members of the public who are pleased to have someone to talk to. It’s lovely spending some time with them and hearing their stories.
Being a PCSO, I love that every day is different, you never know what you will be dealing with on a daily basis.
We work alongside a PC which is great as it gives you more insight into policing, the different roles and powers. Each PCSO has at least one PC to work with in their area, building a good relationship with them is key to great teamwork which really helps the community.
Working in a policing team is really rewarding, it is like an extended family.My colleagues and the community I work with really help me come back after a tough day, and also knowing that I am making a difference to people’s lives every shift is really rewarding.
When you join Bedfordshire Police it’s always referred to as joining a family and it is so true. The team I work with is like a safe space where we can all talk about issues, whether it’s home or work.
Since joining my confidence has really grown. Some of the training I’ve been given has been first aid and speed gun use.
My advice for anyone thinking about applying for a PCSO role is just to go for it. Throughout my recruitment process I didn’t believe in myself and told myself at each stage “well I got this far I can’t see me getting any further”. I was so proud of myself when I was offered the job. I would love to still be doing this role in five years’ time, I really enjoy it.
Head over to our PCSO page to find out more about the role and how to apply.