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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

Am I eligible to become a PCSO?

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and ethnic groups. Our applicants are not limited to any particular age group - in fact, we encourage those who are looking for a career change. Unlike the requirements for regular police officers, there is no minimum age to apply.

PCSO with radio in uniform

Basic guidelines for applicants:

  • There are no minimum or maximum height requirements.
  • There is no formal educational requirement, but you will have to pass written tests.
  • Only applications from British citizens, EC/EEA nationals, Commonwealth citizens, or foreign nationals with indefinite leave to remain in the UK will be accepted.
  • A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence.
  • You must be physically and mentally able to undertake police duties.
  • You will need to complete a medical history questionnaire and undergo an eyesight test satisfactorily before your appointment can be confirmed.
  • Some tattoos (whether visible or not) and facial piercing might be unacceptable.

Do you qualify?

Not everybody is cut out to be a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). Although PCSOs come from a wide variety of backgrounds, all share certain attributes. They must, for example:

  • Be confident and level headed.
  • Have experience and confidence in dealing with difficult people and complex situations.
  • Be sensitive, but also thick-skinned.
  • Have good communication skills.
  • Work well as part of a team.
  • Have the stamina for long stretches on foot patrol.
  • Exhibit excellent communication skills.
  • Be patient in dealing with all types of people, some of whom may be drunk or hostile.

Take a look at the guide to becoming a PCSO for more information and don't forget to check with your chosen force, as eligibility criteria can vary from force to force.

Any PCSO vacancies are advertised on the Current Vacancies page.