Community support officers
Community support officers (CSOs) inspire confidence on the streets of Gwent and are a vital link in the community.
They strive to make our communities safer and stronger by performing one of the most demanding roles in modern policing.
CSOs can't make arrests and they don’t carry handcuffs or other items carried by police officers. They rely on their ability to understand and communicate with people in some of the most difficult situations.
Our next recruitment window | January 2021
We are committed to achieving a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. In doing so, we encourage individuals from our BAME, disabled and LGBT communities to consider future opportunities. For more information, please contact our positive action team.
Working with Gwent Police
Put yourself in the shoes of a CSO. Have a think about how you would deal with different situations. What would you say to a group of drunk people causing a nuisance in the street? How would you speak to an elderly couple who have recently been burgled? How would you approach a group of young people on off-road bikes?
CSOs work within neighbourhood policing teams to help solve local issues by getting out and about in the community, meeting people and offering advice and support to those who live and work in the neighbourhood.
CSOs deal with minor offences and support front-line policing. They do not make arrests, conduct interviews, deal with prisoners or investigate serious crime.
As a CSO you can expect to:
- Be on patrol within your community, getting to know residents.
- Support neighbourhood policing teams in solving local problems.
- Make house visits to gather information and offer reassurance following a crime or incident.
- Link in with key people in the community, such as the leaders of local groups and religions.
- Protect crime scenes.
- Collect CCTV evidence.
- Provide crime prevention and personal safety advice.
- Act as professional witnesses, attending court when needed.
- Engage with young people, creating valuable relationships.
We welcome applications from people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, gender and sexual orientation. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants will need to meet, so you need to check that you meet our requirements before submitting an application.
- You need to be 18 or over to apply.
- You need a minimum level 2 qualification or will need to pass an additional online test.
- Applicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you're a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain.
- You must have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application.
- If you have a criminal record, this doesn't mean you're automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form. Failure to do so will result in failing the vetting process due to integrity issues.
- If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding County Court Judgements or you are an un-discharged bankrupt, then you are automatically ineligible.
Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application, as per application guidance.
When you join Gwent Police as a community support officer, we'll make a wide range of benefits available to you:
- Salary - £21,135 - £23,406
- In addition to your salary, you will be entitled to a set shift allowance and be eligible to claim weekend enhancements as applicable.
- Annual leave
- Annual leave allowance starts at 23 days and rises to 28 days, dependent on your length of service.
- Bank holidays
- Gwent Police allows leave for eight statutory public/bank holidays, pre-determined by the UK Government. They are as follows:
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- May Day
- Spring bank holiday
- August bank holiday
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day.
- Community support officers are entitled to take these holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement, and will take the holidays on the designated day or, if they are due to work the bank holiday, they will be able to take them on an alternative authorised nominated day. Part-time employees have bank holidays on a pro rata basis.
The application process
- The first step will be an on-line application process including some eligibility ‘killer questions’. If you pass this stage you will be required to complete several online tests and an application form. These tests will include an online situational judgement test and behavioural style questionnaire.
- If you do not have a G.C.S.E Maths or English or above you must also successfully pass a psychometric test (verbal reasoning and calculation test). This will test your academic ability to Level 2.
- All test results are provided instantly online.
- If successful at the application stage, you will be invited to an interview in line with the advertised competencies relevant to the role (detailed in the role profile). In addition, this may include some questions designed to find out about your skills and attributes.
- This may or may not include an assessment element. Specific details will be provided in the recruitment campaign.
Further to your assessment centre, there are various in-force stages you will also be required to successfully complete:
- You will be required to meet the national standards for police officers. This involves a shuttle run to level 5/4 (bleep test).
- If you don’t meet the standard first time around, you can take the test again (up to a maximum of three times). You will also be required to attend a pre-appointment fitness test approximately six weeks prior to the anticipated appointment date and you must pass this to progress your application.
Drugs and biometric testing
- The drugs test will involve undergoing a questionnaire on any medication you are taking, or have been taking, and a hair sample.
- Biometric testing will involve taking fingerprints and a DNA (mouth) swab, which will be checked against a national database.
Vetting and references
- References are required to cover a minimum of 3 years of continuous employment history. If you have not been in employment for 3 years we will look to obtain education and personal references.
Health check questionnaire, and appointment
- This will include various tests, including hearing, vision, audio, spirometry, reflexes and BMI. The Home Office sets BMI standards for police officers. The current Home Office circular 59/2004 outlines this as between 18 and 30.
These pre-appointment checks can sometimes take between three and six months. Please be aware that you must attend any appointments in your own time, including your uniform fitting appointment.
Once you have completed all pre-employment checks, you will move to the next stage of the process.
For uniformed roles, you'll be allocated a place on the next available intake and allocated a uniform fitting appointment.
For staff roles, you will receive information about a start date, be provided with an offer letter, the terms and conditions applicable to the role and receive contact from your line manager.
Our equality and diversity objectives are enforced through an established Equality and Diversity Board. This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring we consistently treat our colleagues and public with fairness, dignity and respect.
Our employee assistance programme is provided by CareFirst, is free to all and available 24 hours a day all year round, providing confidential support for problems that can affect performance, health, and mental and emotional wellbeing.
We offer an Occupational Health and Welfare Unit to help maintain both your physical and psychological health while at work. The service is confidential and includes a counselling service.
The Occupational Health team aims to support attendance and effectiveness by working proactively to minimise health risks and to promote individual responsibility for health, fitness and wellbeing. You are also eligible for a free eye test.
There are many sports teams for you to join from running, hockey, fishing and football. There are also free gym facilities at a number of our sites.
We have a full occupational maternity leave policy available to all employees of Gwent Police. 52 weeks maternity in total: 18 weeks at full pay, 21 weeks of statutory maternity pay, and 13 weeks of no pay. This is subject to length of service. We also offer an adoption leave policy.
There are a range of associations, networks and groups supporting our workforce and Gwent Police has a range of initiatives and schemes to help colleagues develop.
Our staff networks offer support and friendship to our officers, staff and the local community alike. They work to support and advise colleagues nationally and we are proud of the active part they play in influencing policing across the UK.
The networks and associations include:
- The Disability Support Network
- The Women in Policing Network (GWiP)
- The Gwent Police Ethnic Minority Association (GEMA)
- The LGBT+ Network
- The Christian Police Association
- The Mental Health Support Network
- Police Sport Gwent
- Police Superintendents Association
- Welsh Speakers and Learners Network
- Unison and
- The Police Federation.
Only Police Officers can join the Police Federation, if you opt to join the Police Federation, you can choose to join a life insurance scheme with awards payable to your spouse or partner, and to any dependents. In addition to accessing crucial illness and sickness cover, you can take out insurance, at a preferential rate, to cover any legal expenses connected to your job, and also benefit from the best rehabilitation facilities.
To promote healthy journeys to work, Gwent Police and Cycle Solutions have working together to provide staff and officers with the opportunity with a new bike and safety equipment, with big discount off the total price, spreading the cost over 18 months.
Lifestyle and organisational discounts including gym memberships (as well as on-site gyms), restaurants, takeaways, travel, financial products, an eye care scheme and more.