Volunteer Police Community Support Officer (VPCSO)
Our VPCSO recruitment is now open.
The recruitment is for the April 2024 intake and will close at midday on Monday 16 October 2023.
Find out more about the role and how to apply below.
Gloucestershire Constabulary and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are looking for anyone who has a passion for their local community. We are looking for volunteers who want to make a difference and be part of the Police family working to reduce crime and build trust and confidence.
This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to work with the police family who believes they can make a difference in supporting their local community.
The role of a VPCSO
Volunteer Police Community Support Officers are an additional uniformed visible presence in our local communities, to support regular operational colleagues.
As a VPCSO, you will support the work of regular PCSOs in providing reassurance to local communities. You will deal with things that matter most to them, engaging with individuals, local organisations and education settings to keep the people of Gloucestershire safe from harm.
Volunteers will be working with neighbourhood policing teams to get involved in building relationships with the community and the police to reduce crime and protect the vulnerable. The role is flexible, has no upper age limit and no set hours, so you will decide what you can commit to.
Whilst you will not be expected to take any direct police action, you will wear a uniform, have a police radio, wear a body worn video camera and be a valued part of the team. Full training will be given when you start.
If you care about your neighbourhood and feel you want to make a difference, well now you can! Step up and make it count. Be that individual who shows they care for the community and the individuals in it!
What you'll support with as a VPCSO
As a VPCSO, you will:
Work closely with local Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Coordinators to set up new NHW schemes
Helping to develop existing NHW schemes to improve public confidence and reduce crime
Undertake community-based activities to gather, handle and submit information intelligence, acting as the eyes and ears of the community
Develop close working relationships with key community bodies and individuals to gather and provide information
Provide support and guidance to vulnerable members of the community of all ages to reduce isolation, reduce fears of crime, and build trust and confidence in policing.
Develop effective relationships with local primary and secondary schools to inform them of Neighbourhood Policing initiatives related to education. To share best practice and achievements in crime prevention and reduction.
Maintain awareness of risks to individuals, escalating potential threats to public safety in line with force guidance, to support the identification and resolution of issues.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
Opportunities as a VPCSO
Volunteer when you want – there are no set hours and you can choose when you want to volunteer
There’s no upper age limit – the role of a VPCSO is open to anyone over the age of 18
Develop and enhance your skills and experience – learn about the policing issues within the county, build relationships with a wide range of communities, gather and submit information and intelligence, and more.
Help vulnerable members of the community to stay safe
Gain an insight into what the police do
Gain an understanding of how your local community is policed
Work towards a wider aim of protecting the public.
We provide VPCSOs with full training over three months. We will provide you with an introduction to the force and we’ll offer appropriate advice, support and guidance to allow you to carry out your tasks.
All VPCSO training takes place at the Constabulary Training Centre in Berkeley on evenings and weekends. It will be a blended learning approach to include face-to-face and e-learning packages online, and we’ll cover topics such as emergency first aid, officer safety training, crime prevention, radio training and more.
To get the most out of the opportunity, we ask that individuals are confident in:
Having the ability to consider and make difficult decisions
Demonstrate an understanding of policing issues in the county.
Communicating with others to provide support to a wide range of diverse communities by telephone, e-mail, and predominantly in person either on a one to one basis, or to larger groups
VPCSOs will have access to and operate a number of Police IT systems in order to gather and submit information and intelligence, therefore an understanding of IT would be helpful
This role does not require the post-holder to hold a current driving licence
Uniform will be provided.
You must be aged 18 years-old or over. There is no upper age limit for volunteers.
All volunteer applicants are to be subject to vetting and security checks in line with the Gloucestershire Constabulary Vetting Policy. Any applicants unsuccessful at this stage of the process have no legal right to appeal against the decision.
The need for the residency rule arises from the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner. This is because the UK police service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting enquiries overseas to the extent required for those who are resident in the UK.
The purpose of the residency criteria is to ensure that applicants have a checkable history in the UK, so that meaningful vetting enquiries can be undertaken. The criteria provide reassurance when considering the health and safety of police personnel and the public. Effective vetting cannot be conducted if there is no way to assess the honesty, integrity, reliability and overall suitability for clearance of appointees against the information available.
The residency requirements refer to the period immediately before an application is made, and not any other three-, five-, or ten-year period, or any other accumulation of time spent in the UK.
Application of the residency criteria
If an individual resides permanently in the UK, they are considered to be a UK resident.
An individual who has moved overseas and severed major ties to the UK (e.g., closed bank accounts and sold property) is considered to have surrendered their residency in the UK. This would also apply to people who maintain bank accounts purely for the purpose of receiving regular payments, e.g., a UK pension.
An individual is considered to be on an extended holiday if they have
spent a significant period of time overseas without returning to the UK, but intend to return in the future
taken a gap year before or following university
travelled for a year
spent time overseas visiting family
This is not an exhaustive list.
Individuals who meet the above criteria maintain their UK residency and may therefore be considered for vetting clearance.
Serving with the government or armed forces
An individual who has been posted overseas as part of their service with HMG or the armed forces is considered to have been resident in the UK for the period that they were abroad.
Where an individual has been overseas as the spouse, partner or dependent of a member of the armed forces posted overseas, they can be considered to have been resident in the UK if their place of residence was within the confines of the establishment, e.g., a military base. If they were residing outside this, they are considered to have been resident overseas.
Membership of British National Party (BNP) or similar organisations
Police Support Volunteers should abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with impartial discharge of their duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the
public that it may so interfere. If a prospective volunteer is a member of the BNP or a similar organisation, their application will result in rejection.
These groups include:
British National Party (BNP);
Conflict of interest
Applications will not be accepted from individuals where there is a significant possibility that this could lead to a conflict of interest in your professional life or another volunteering role. You must therefore give full details of your current employment or other voluntary work you undertake as part of your application.
Occupations that are considered incompatible with becoming a volunteer:
Magistrates, clerks to justices and clerks to court
Members of county and district councils
Bailiffs, warrant officers
Holders of liquor licences and managers of licensed houses
Licensees of betting/gaming premises.
Private detectives and inquiry agents
Security officers, guards and door people
Members of employer’s police forces and private constabularies
Civilian detention officers
Custody officers and custody escort officers
Parking enforcement officers
Members of the full-time fire service
Members of the Armed Forces
The following occupations may also be considered incompatible for particular volunteer roles
Members of medical and health professions
Occupations with client privilege
Youth workers and social workers
Employees of security organisations
Tattoos, jewellery and facial/body piercing
Jewellery must be discreet and inoffensive. Language or images displayed must not be inappropriate or offensive. Excessive or unconventional jewellery is inappropriate. Jewellery is a potential risk in certain situations, as it can cause an injury if caught in machinery, or pulled by an opponent. Individuals are responsible for minimising this risk.
Individuals who wear uniforms/protective clothing, or who meet the public as part of their role, must not wear jewellery which is loose, or dangles. Long earrings, jewellery for facial piercings, large rings, bracelets, or necklaces must not be worn. Individuals who work with machinery must not wear any jewellery, other than a wedding ring.
Piercings must be kept to a minimum and must be discreet.
Tattoos are not a barrier to volunteering in the constabulary; however, some tattoos could offend members of the public and colleagues, or could bring discredit to the police service.
If you need any clarification regarding your tattoos or piercings, then please email us at [email protected].
It depends on the size, nature, location, extent and whether the images or language are appropriate to be displayed. Tattoos are not acceptable if they:
Cause offence to members of the public or colleagues
Undermine the dignity or authority of the Constabulary
Are garish or numerous or particularly prominent
Indicate unacceptable attitudes to any section of the community
Indicate alignment with a particular group which could be offensive to the public, or colleagues
Are considered to be rude, lewd, crude, racist, sexist, sectarian, homophobic, violent or intimidating
Individuals should cover their tattoos. They may be expected to take action to rectify the tattoos, if these fail to meet the standard of non-visibility, or appropriateness.
Individuals with a tattoo on their head are expected to take steps to minimise visibility, either by growing their hair, or by the use of headwear. Headwear may not always be appropriate, so must be approved by the manager of the department in which the volunteer is deployed.
VPCSOs will operate county wide across Gloucestershire. Individuals will be asked to express which area of the county they would prefer to operate in, including the area within which they live. VPCSOs will be supported by Local Policing regular Sergeants and play an invaluable role in adding value and capacity to local neighbourhoods.
Individuals will be entitled to claim out of pocket expenses for travelling between your home and station, as well as during training from your home address to the Training Centre. Applicants should be aware of the need to check personal car insurance to ensure cover is provided by their insurer for use of any vehicle in connection to business use.
All volunteers will carry out their role in a way which supports the Constabulary’s Diversity Objectives.
Volunteers will take all reasonable care of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions.
Gloucestershire Constabulary has a duty to promote the welfare of, and safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All Constabulary personnel are required to comply with Constabulary Policy and Standard Operating Procedures in respect of safeguarding.
As a Gloucestershire VPCSO, individuals will be expected to comply with the Standards of Professional Behaviour in accordance with the Code of Ethics.
Thursday 7 September 2023 at midday
Monday 16 October at midday
4 and 5 November 2023
Beginning 6 November 2023 for successful candidates