The press and media have been full of it today; Thames Valley Police have recruited two 16-year-olds as PCSOs in a move that has triggered a row....Two 16-year-olds have been recruited as community support officers, it has been confirmed. The teenagers are undergoing training after passing their assessments, said a TVP spokesman.
The current Affairs section of http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/ under the headline Babies on The Beat reported tonight that; A number of police forces today said they had employed or would consider employing PCSOs aged under 18.
How long will it be before the courts order some chav to do CSO work as part of their Community Service for breach of an ASBO?
Some of you will remember the days of Police Cadets who started at 16yrs of age. The difference then was they had no powers, they were not put in confrontational situations and, they were never let out to patrol on their own. Yes they had the opportunity to learn about law enforcement and police procedures, as a form of apprenticeship, in a protected learning environment! The practice ended due to financial constraints as it was not cost effective and only provided limited benefits to each force. Would the above situation be happening now if it was not for govt. subsidies to support CSO recruitment? I doubt it?
Those who joined the regular force at 18 1/2 must have experience difficulties in performing their role due to their age and, how many hand on heart, can say they were mature enough to deal with many of the situations that present themselves to the police?
I do not wish to detract from the ability and/or enthusiasm of the two individuals concerned however, their appointment is ludicrous, it's another example of policing on the cheep and fraught with physical and litigious dangers! And, has anyone told procurement and the clothing store to get stocked up with nappies, dummies as the recruitment age decreases? Brings a whole new element to the 'Puppy Walking' process!