PCSOs across Lincolnshire are to be issued with powers to deal with more offences, such as speeding, in an effort to ease pressure on other officers and make the most of limited resources.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly has authorised the extra powers for his 118 PCSOs following a review.
“This has been part of our continuing effort to ensure we are making the best use of our existing resources,” he says.
Local Chief Constables have the authority to change the roles and responsibilities of their PCSOs beyond their 20 standard, nationally set powers.
He said the extra powers will focus on tackling serious and fatal collisions.
PCSOs will also be trained to record statements for such incidents as shop theft, helping to ensure evidence will be better quality and more likely to lead to a successful prosecution.
The upskilling is expected to take a maximum of three days per officer. Additional powers will include reporting use of seatbelts, not wearing motorcycle helmets, speeding, having no MOT, obstructing the highway and using a mobile phone while driving.
This will mean PCSOs can stop drivers while on foot and demand to see their documents and seize uninsured vehicles.
Mr Skelly is keen not to lose the community policing relationship PCSOs currently have, adding: “I am hopeful that a balance can be struck between carrying on with established responsibilities and also incorporating these new powers into the role of the PCSO.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones welcomed the broadening of their powers, saying: “PCSOs provide a crucial service and are valued by communities across the county.
“Traffic offences are of great concern for many of our residents and, in addition to the new team launched earlier this year, PCSOs can play a vital role in keeping our roads and people safe.
“We must ensure we use the resources we have as effectively and efficiently as possible and this is another positive step in delivering on that goal.”