Met Police hiring hundreds more PCSOs in massive recruitment drive

The Met Police hopes to recruit hundreds of additional PCSOs to help tackle neighborhood crime (PA Archive)

The Met Police hopes to recruit hundreds of additional PCSOs to help tackle neighborhood crime (PA Archive)

The Met is hiring hundreds of new Police Community Support Officers in a bid to “step back into community policing” and rebuild public trust in the scandal-hit force.

The massive recruitment drive launched on Tuesday will see an extra 500 PCSOs join the Met this year and a further 1,100 hired by mid-2025 – increasing the total number of PCSOs in the capital by 40 per cent initially, and eventually by more than 130 per cent. The Met currently has around 1,200 PCSOs.

It comes as commissioner Sir Mark Rowley attempts to overhaul the Met following a series of high-profile scandals, including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, and PC David Carrick’s admission of a horrific campaign of rape and abuse against women throughout his policing career.

A damning report by Dame Louise Casey, commissioned in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, in March laid bare a series of failings at the country’s largest force, which it found to be “institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic”. Meanwhile, more than half of Londoners say they don’t trust the Met.

The new PCSOs are set to cost Londoners £29.3m, paid for by City Hall which this year hiked the Mayor of London’s share of council tax bills by 9.7 per cent – the biggest rise in two decades – to fund the initiative.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I am determined to keep building on the progress we are making in London – where violence and knife crime is falling – bucking the national trend.

“The 500 new Police Community Support Officers I am funding will play a big role in further reducing crime, rebuilding community relations and public trust in the police and supporting the Commissioner’s Turnaround Plan for the Met.

“Being a PCSO is a unique and rewarding role at the heart of the work to make communities safer.

“I encourage Londoners from all backgrounds to apply and be part of the change we all want to see in our police, as we continue to work together to build a safer London for all.”

New PCSOs will start on an annual salary of around £30,200, with benefits including a civil service pension, free bus travel, and 28 days paid leave that rises to 33 days after five years of service.

PCSOs support the work of police officers. New recruits will begin with six weeks of learning skills such as patrolling, gathering and handling evidence, managing crime scenes, and emergency life support.

Commander Dr Alison Heydari, Front Line Policing Command, said: “Community policing is our foundation and this is a very critical time to join us as a PCSO to work alongside police officers and volunteers, and really make a difference in local neighborhoods and to the lives of local people.

“The Met is firmly stepping back into community policing where we will rebuild those bonds of trust and partnership with communities, so we are working together to tackle the issues Londoners tell us they want to deal with.”

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