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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Community Support Officers (CSOs) work within the community and were introduced to increase a police presence on the streets. The role of a CSO is varied but will chiefly involve interaction with the public and assisting police officers at scenes of crimes and incidents.

CSOs play a vital role in the community as many people feel more comfortable talking to the CSOs rather than police officers and they are able to offer crime prevention advice and play an important role in preventing anti-social behaviour.

CSOs do not have the same powers as police officers but depending on which force they work in there are various powers that can be given to them to deal with offences such as parking offences, littering and confiscation of alcohol amongst others.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.