Police Officers are furious that CSOs are to get the full pay rise, including back pay that has been denied to fully sworn officers and rightly so!
But police officers are not the only ones who question the actual worth of the CSO. James O'Brien of Friction TV suggests we should actually Get Rid of Community Support Officers! There are many who would agree however, I believe that perhaps they do actually have a role in modern policing but let's be open and honest about what that function actually is! The government is doing nothing short of lying to the public in an attempt to disguise their hidden agenda. An agenda which promotes law and order on one hand, crows about how well they are addressing the issues, boasts about how many 'extra' officers are now available then proceeds to try and provide policing services on the cheap.
I, like many of my colleagues could bang on about this subject indefinitely, (actually many of us do) however, the whole crux of the issue is all about trust, about openness and honesty and a belief in our politicians and what they say. It would b e stupid to ever believe that we will all have the same political beliefs but it would be nice to actually trust what the politicians are saying... Unfortunately this has to be a pipe dream!
When there is some clarity about the actual role and responsibility of the CSO, a complete standardisation of uniform, training and powers right across the country and a total step back from trying to pull the wool over the public eyes, then I might change my belief in their actual worth. Until then I find it increasingly hard to actually see the 'value' they currently bring to the policing process.
What we actually have here is a disguised attempt by our government to produce a two tier policing service. One that has a visible (almost powerless) presence on the streets and another, smaller unit that are armed to the teeth with all manner of powers and equipment. A force that is called upon to quell and squash the public when they fail to comply with government instructions. Is this what we want as a nation? Is this not approaching a police state methodology? Have we not lost sight of the 'Policing by Consent' ideal? The public must decide...
With the current methodology applied by this government, their need for the police is actually increasing. It would be woefully unwise therefore to alienate them if the government wishes to continue along their current tack!