Bristol

Avon and Somerset PCSOs given power to detain

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Avon and Somerset have been given greater powers.

The force's 384 PCSOs are now permitted to detain people for up to 30 minutes and to search them.

Chief constables are able to designate a number of discretionary powers to PCSOs.

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens asked Chief Constable Nick Gargan to consider the powers soon after his appointment this year.

Mr Gargan said: "That power of detention allows a PCSO to keep somebody with them for up to 30 minutes, pending the arrival of an officer and pending a decision of whether to transform that detention into an arrest.

"The training programme has been worked up just to ensure we can implement that, and our PCSOs now have those powers."

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