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Standard powers for Community Support Officers

This reports sets out the responses to the recent Home Office consultation paper ‘Standard Powers for Community Support Officers and a Framework for the Future Development of Powers‘ (published August 2005). It also includes the
Government’s comments on these responses and a list of proposed standards powers for Community Support Officers (CSOs),
including those for which fixed penalty notices (FPNs) can be issued..

Title: Summary of Responses to the Consultation Document ‘Standard Powers for Community Support Officers and a Framework for the Future Development of Powers’ & the Government Response
Author: Home Office
Date published: January 2006
Number of pages: 23
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Consultation summary

Chief Constables have the power to give CSOs a range of powers from a list set out in Schedule 4 of the Police Reform Act 2002. At present, this means that CSOs in different forces can have different powers, or occasionally none of the powers. The Home Office believes that it is sensible to standardise the set of powers designated to CSOs. The consultation paper also announced the Government’s intention to legislate for a set of standard powers at the earliest opportunity.

The consultation asked respondents to express their views on the subject in general and to comment specifically on 8 questions, in particular whether or not they agreed with standardising CSO powers and on what powers they would recommend be included in the standard set of powers. The 8 questions were:

  1. Please comment on this set of principles.
    (i) All CSOs should have key enforcement powers that allow them to take action against anti-social behaviour, in particular the power to require name and address;
    (ii) Alcohol is a serious problem throughout the country and all CSOs should be able to take measures in the neighbourhoods they patrol to minimise the damage that it causes, therefore powers to deal with alcohol abuse should be included in a set of standard powers.
    (iii) CSOs have a critical role to play in neighbourhood policing and it is important that they have sufficient powers to play a full role as part of neighbourhood policing teams.

  2. What is your understanding of the role of CSOs? What do you expect CSOs to do?

  3. Do you agree that greater standardisation of CSO powers is desirable?

  4. Which powers should be usefully included in a set of standard powers?

  5. Are there further powers that you believe are essential for all CSOs to have to enable them to contribute to neighbourhood policing?

  6. What would lead to a greater public understanding of CSO powers? Would publishing powers on individual force websites and/or grouping CSO powers in some way be useful?

  7. Do you have you have ideas for further powers that would add to the effectiveness of accredited persons in your area?

  8. Do you have information on the overall cost of training your CSOs and/or on the costs of training them in their powers? (This questions was for relevant police forces only)

In total over 90 responses were received within the time limit, from a wide range of organisations including police forces, town and parish councils and Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships as well as from individual CSOs and members of the public.

This paper provides an overview of the responses received to the questions raised in the consultation, together with the Government Response. In addition there is also a section which contains additional comments and themes which have emerged through the consultation process.

Proposed standard CSO powers

Powers proposed to include in the standard set

Powers not included in the proposed standard set

 

POWER

RELEVANT LEGISLATION

ENVIROMENTAL POWERS

Power to issue FPNs for dog fouling
Power of an authorised officer of a local authority to give a notice under section 4 of the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

Paragraph 1(2)(c) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002.

Power to issue FPN for littering
Power of an authorised officer of a litter authority to give a notice under section 88 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Paragraph 1(2)(d) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to issue FPN graffiti/fly-posting
Power of an authorised officer of a local authority to give a notice under section 43(1) of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003.

Paragraph 1(2)(ca) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by section 46 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003)

Power to remove abandoned vehicles under regulations made under section 99 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Paragraph 10 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

TRANSPORT POWERS

Power to issue FPN for cycling on pavement
Power of a constable in uniform to give a person a fixed penalty notice under section 54 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 in respect of an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 (riding on a footway) committed by cycling.

Paragraph 1(2)(b) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to stop cycles
Powers of a constable in uniform to stop a cycle under section 163(2) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 when a CSO has reason to believe that a person has committed the offence of riding on a footpath.

Paragraph 11A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by section 89(3) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003)

Power to stop vehicles for testing, power to escort abnormal loads and power to carry out road checks

Paragraph 11 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002. Paragraph 12 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 Paragraph 13 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to require name and address for road traffic offences
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 allows CSOs to be designated with the power to require the name and address of a driver or pedestrian who fails to follow the directions of a community support officer or police officer.

Paragraph 3A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 6 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to direct traffic and to place traffic signs

Paragraph 11B of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 10 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill & Paragraph 13A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 11 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.)

Power to issue PND for throwing fireworks and trespassing on a railway and throwing stones on a railway.

S80 of the Explosives Act 1875, s55 & s56 of British Transport Commission Act 1949

Power to seize vehicles used to cause alarm
Power to stop and seize a vehicle which a CSO has reason to believe is being used in a manner which contravenes sections 3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 under section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

Paragraph 9 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

ALCOHOL & TOBACCO POWERS

Limited power to enter licensed premises
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill allows CSOs to be designated with a power to enter licensed premises under section 180 of the Licensing Act 2003 for the purposes of investigating relevant licensing offences.

Paragraph 8A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 9 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to require persons drinking in designated area to surrender alcohol

Power to require a person whom a CSO reasonably believes is, or has been, consuming alcohol in a designated public place or intends to do so, to not consume that alcohol and to surrender any alcohol or container for alcohol. Power to dispose of alcohol surrendered.

Paragraph 5 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to require persons aged under 18 to surrender alcohol
Power to require a person who he reasonably believes is aged under 18 or is or has been supplying alcohol to a person aged under 18 to surrender any alcohol in his possession and to give their name and address. Power to require such a person to surrender sealed containers of alcohol if the CSO has reason to believe that the person is or has been consuming or intends to consume alcohol. Power to dispose of alcohol surrendered.

Paragraph 6 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to search for alcohol and tobacco
Where a person has failed to comply with a requirement under paragraph 5 or 6 or has failed to allow a CSO to seize tobacco under paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 and a CSO reasonably believes that the person is in possession of alcohol or tobacco then a CSO may search them for it and dispose of anything found.

Paragraph 7A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 8 of Schedule 8 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to seize tobacco from a person aged under 16 and to dispose of that tobacco.

Paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to seize drugs and require name and address for possession of drugs
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 allows CSOs to be designated with a power seize unconcealed drugs or drugs found when searching for alcohol, tobacco or dangerous items. The CSO must retain the drugs until a constable instructs them what to do with it.

Paragraphs 7B and 7C of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 8 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to issue PNDs for
– sale of alcohol to a person under 18
– purchase of alcohol for person under 18
– delivery of alcohol to person under 18
– drinking in designated area
– consumption of alcohol by person under 18 or allowing such consumption
– buying or attempting to buy alcohol by a person under 18
– sells or attempts to sell alcohol to a person who is drunk.

s146, s149(3),s151, s150(1) Licensing Act 2003, s149(1), s141 Licensing Act 2003 & s12 Criminal Justice & Police Act 2001

POWERS TO TACKLE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Power to require name and address for anti-social behaviour
Power of a constable in uniform under section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002 to require a person whom he has reason to believe to have been acting, or to be acting, in an anti-social manner to give his name and address.

Paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (Paragraph 3(10) of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to deal with begging
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 makes offences under sections 3 and 4 of the Vagrancy Act 1824 into relevant offences. It also gives CSOs a power to detain a person who they have required to stop committing an offence under sections 3 and 4 of the Vagrancy Act and who has failed to comply with the requirement.

Paragraphs 2(6)(ac) and 2(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (see paragraphs 3(4), 3(5), 3(6) and 3(7) of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to issue PND for
– breach of fireworks curfew
– possession of a category 4 firework
– possession by a persons under 18 of an adult firework
– supply of excessively load firework

Fireworks Regulations 2004 under s11 of the Fireworks Act 2003


ENFORCEMENT POWERS

Power to require name and address for relevant offences
Power
to require the name and address of a person whom a CSO has reason to believe has committed a relevant offence (Relevant offences are defined under subparagraph 2(6) of Schedule 4 of the Police Reform Act).

Paragraph 1A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 2 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to detain
Power to detain a person whom a CSO has reason to believe has committed a relevant offence who fails to comply with a requirement to give name and address or who gives an answer which the CSO reasonably suspects to be false or inaccurate for up to 30 minutes or until the arrival of a police officer (or to accompany that person to a police station if he or she elects to do so on request).

Paragraph 2 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002. (Paragraph 3(2) of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.)

Power to photograph persons away from a police station
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 enables CSOs to be designated with the power to photograph a person who has been arrested, detained or given a fixed penalty notice away from the police station.

Paragraph 15ZA of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 12 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Powers not included in the set of standard powers

SECURITY POWERS

Power to enter and search any premises for purposes of saving life and limb or preventing damage to property

Paragraph 8 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to stop and search in authorised areas: Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 in authorised areas to stop and search vehicles and pedestrians when in the company and under the supervision of a constable.

Paragraph 15 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 Power to enforce cordoned areas: under section 36 of the Terrorism Act 2000 Paragraph 14 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

ENFORCEMENT POWERS

Power to enforce byelaws: The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 provides that offences committed under relevant byelaws are relevant offences under paragraph 2(6) of Schedule 4 of the Police Reform Act 2002. A relevant byelaw is a byelaw from a list of byelaws that has been agreed between a chief constable and a relevant byelaw-making body.

Paragraphs 1A(3), 2(3A), 2(6)(ad), 2(6B), 2(6C), 2(6D), 2(6E), 2(6F) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (see paragraphs 2, 3(4), 3(7) and 3(8) of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to search detained persons for dangerous items or items that could be used to assist escape: Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 allows CSOs to be designated with the same powers as a constable under section 32 of PACE to search detained persons for anything that could be used to cause physical injury or to assist escape.

Paragraph 2A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by paragraph 4 of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to use reasonable force to prevent a detained person making off: either when waiting for the arrival of a constable or when accompanying a detained person to a police station.

Paragraph 4 of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002

Power to use reasonable force to transfer control of detained persons: Paragraph 2(4A) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 places a duty on CSOs to remain with a police officer when transferring a detained person to his or her custody until the police officer has the person under control. Paragraph 2(4B) places a CSO accompanying a detained person to a police station under a duty to remain at the police station until the detained person is under control.

Paragraphs 2(4A), 2(4B), 4ZA and 4ZB of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (see paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Schedule 9 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to remove children in contravention of curfew notices to their place of residence: Power to remove a child to their place of residence if the CSO has reason to believe that the child is in contravention of a curfew notice under sub-sections 15(1), (2) and (3) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Paragraph 4B of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by section 33 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003)

Power to issue FPN for truancy Power of a constable to give a penalty notice under section 444A of the Education Act 1996.

Paragraph 1(2)(aa) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by section 23 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003).

Power to remove truants to a designated place: where a local authority designates premises to which young person or child may be removed under this section, Powers of a constable in uniform to remove a child or young person that they have reasonable cause to believe is absent from school without lawful authority, back to the school or to designated premises.

Section 16 of Crime and Disorder Act 1998 Proposed New Power

Destroying or damaging property; causing harassment, alarm or distress

S1(1) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, s5 Public Order Act 1986

Power to issue PND for wasting police time, giving false report, using public
network communications in order to cause annoyance; knowingly giving false alarm
to a person acting on behalf of a fire and rescue authority

S5 Criminal Law Act 1967, s127 (2) Communications Act 2003, s49 Fire and
Rescue Act 2004

POWERS TO TACKLE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

Power to disperse groups and remove persons under 16 to their place of
residence: Powers which, by virtue of an authorisation under section 30 of the
Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, are conferred on a constable in uniform by
section 30(3) to (6) of that Act (power to disperse groups and remove persons
under 16 to their place of residence).

Paragraph 4A of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (inserted by section 33
of the Anti-Social Behaviour 2003)

ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO POWERS

Power to enforce certain licensing offences: The Serious Organised Crime and
Police Act 2005 establishes a set of relevant licensing offences. These offences
are sale of alcohol to a person who is drunk, obtaining alcohol for a person who
is drunk, sale of alcohol to children, purchase of alcohol by or on behalf of
children, consumption of alcohol by children and sending a child to obtain
alcohol. Where these offences apply specifically to clubs they are not relevant
licensing offences. CSOs may require name and address but may not detain for
those relevant licensing offences that are most likely to be committed by
license holders.

Paragraph 2(6A) of Schedule 4 to the Police Reform Act 2002 (see paragraphs 3(3)
and 3(8) of Schedule 8 to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005).

Power to issue PND for drunk and disorderedly behaviour; drunk in highway

S91 of the Criminal Justice Act 1967, s12 Licensing Act 1872

    

Getting a copy

Download
Summary of Responses to the Consultation Document ‘Standard Powers for Community
Support Officers and a Framework for the Future Development of Powers’ & the
Government Response

PDF 153Kb

Last update: 23 January 2006

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