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Community Support Officers

Volume 459: debated on Friday 20 April 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what facilities are to be provided for the training of community support officers to be recruited in Northern Ireland; and at what cost. (133043)

Training for PCSOs will be based on a six-week programme, comprising both classroom and practical-based learning. It is envisaged that part of this training will take place within the community and the environments in which PCSOs will work. The programme will include role specific training, skills development, and the knowledge necessary for working in the community—including human rights, diversity, ethics and problem solving. As with other members of police staff, PCSOs will have access to ongoing training as needed

Full costings for training are not yet available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the recruitment of community support officers (CSOs) in Northern Ireland to begin; and when he expects the first CSOs to be deployed. (133044)

The following table sets out the proposed timetable for the first recruitment campaign. This has yet to be finalised and is therefore subject to change.

Date

4 May 2007

Extensive outreach campaign to inform the public and potential applicants as to the role and functions of a PCSO

Week beginning 21 May 2007

Recruitment advertisements

October 2007

Recruitment process completed

January 2008

First training programme commences

February 2008

First PCSOs on patrol in E District (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon and Newry and Mourne)