Friday, April 27, 2007

Brief memoirs from the

The MET have apparently developed a Front Counters Project Team and it is currently advertising an Open day for PCSO's to learn about the new career development opportunities act as Police Station community support officers!

Other Bloggers have commented on this but the Met plan to replace Front office civilian staff with PCSO's.

A decision made by Senior management who have obviously not had the 'if it 'aint broke don't fix it' course at Bramshill.

I have a strong admiration for our Civilian Front office Staff.Even,at its most basic,is the fact that because of them I managed to get away from that forsaken job.

Whilst young in Service and not a driver (and avoiding any CAD courses that would have left me stuck for weeks in the CAD/Control Room) I often found myself posted 'Front office'

During the Day it was 'Death by HORTI ( remember the old 'producers'! in a time when we seemed to actively care if someone had Insurance and an MOT )...and all sorts of other boring stuff
Of a Night it was boredom sustained only by visits from our regular 'people with mental health issues' who were drawn to us mainly by the fact that we were open 24 hours a day and they could usually get a conversation out of you.

I was regaled on all sorts of subjects.One thought that God had an office on the second floor.Another advised me regularly as to the benefits of encasing the TV in tin foil.By and large they were invariably polite and often more erudite than my regular customers.

I think Civilian Front office staff came into the Met around the the early 90's.
I thought they were great.In my particular Borough at the time the two female Front office staff were excellent and it meant I was released back out into the world.

They have managed to revamp most Station Front offices these days.

Though the customers seem to be the same.

In some of my old Boroughs the average queue looked like an audition for 'Lord of the Rings'

Front Office work is a weary old job.You have the basic Bail to returns and their Reps, the Signing ons, the endless 'I've lost my purse/phone it must have been stolen'..Monitoring the Station office property cupboard.. a job in itself!...Is PC/DC in?.. No I didn't have an appointment!..

Hats off to Front office staff!

Whether our PCSO's can fill their shoes remains to be seen.

In my particular neck of the woods,apparently not, as police officers seem to be filling the gaps

Anyway I will leave the last word with the Front Counters Project Team

'Front counters presents a 'Shop window' for the MPS'

Well if that means it shows a bunch of frustrated,bored,grumpy people waiting for someone to listen to them, then they may have a point.

..and that means both sides of the counter!


Anonymous jackthecat said...

I think it's a good idea but i'm not too sure you'd get any volunteers as it's a tough job at times.
I think most PCSO's would rather be out and about as it's a lot easier way to earn their 22K a year.
I'm not sure what SRO's are paid but they certainly earn every penny.
I last did it about 5 years ago at a fairly quiet Station and even then it got a bit crazy.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Officer Dibble said...

I agree. It's a thankless job.
I can't see many takers amongst the PCSO's.
Its a pity that management didnt consider possible lack of uptake when they 'bumped' experienced SRO's on to other things.

3:47 PM  
Blogger totallyun-pc said...

Well they ain't doing it. All the SRO's have done a runner cos they don't want to be PCSO's and now they can't recruit PCSO's to go into the Front office... so guess what... PC's in every station Office. It always revolves around to the same question I posed in my blogs,,,,, "Who is supporting who these days?"

3:56 PM  
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