Recruitment FAQs

If I join South Wales Police as a PCSO, can I transfer to become a police officer?[+ / -]

No, you would have to go through the official recruitment process like all other applicants in order to qualify as a police officer.

As a PCSO, will I carry the same equipment as a police officer?[+ / -]

PCSOs do not carry a baton, CS spray or handcuffs like police officers. This is because they carry out a completely different role and will not be expected to deal with confrontational situations where they may need them. All PCSOs are issued with radios however, so they may access police communications and support.

What powers do PCSOs have?[+ / -]

There are a set of 20 standard powers for PCSOs.

These powers allow PCSOs to:

  • Request the name and address of a person who committed a relevant offence
  • Request name and address of a person acting in an antisocial manner
  • Issue Fixed Penalty Notices for cycling on a footpath
  • Issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering
  • Request a person to stop drinking in a ‘Designated Public Place’ and surrender containers of alcohol
  • Confiscate alcohol from young people
  • Confiscate cigarettes and tobacco from young people
  • Enter premises to save life or limb or to prevent serious damage to a property
  • Stop vehicles for purpose of a road check
  • Seize vehicles used to cause alarm or distress
  • Require removal of abandoned vehicles
  • Stop pedal cycles
  • Control traffic for purposes other than escorting dimensions
  • Require name and address for road traffic offences
  • Maintain and enforce a cordoned area established under Section 36, Terrorism Act 2000
  • Stop and search in authorised areas under supervision of a Police Constable
  • Seize drugs and require name and address for possession of drugs
  • Photograph people away from a police station
  • Issue Fixed Penalty Notices in respect of offences under dog control orders
  • Place signs

Are PCSOs just a replacement for police officers?[+ / -]

PCSOs have a very different role from police officers. Their purpose is not to replace police officers, but to support them in addressing quality of life issues and community needs. They are a vital addition to the policing family, and will address tasks that don’t require the experience or powers of arrest a police officer has.

Why do PCSOs have shift and weekend allowance?[+ / -]

PCSOs are hired under different terms and conditions to police officers, so may be eligible to receive additional payments if they work a particular shift pattern on a rostered basis. Essentially, the entitlement means that PCSOs can be rostered when required.

I want to apply to become a PCSO but I have asthma. Does this mean my application will be rejected?[+ / -]

If you are successful in the assessment centre stage of recruitment you will undergo a medical examination, and unless your asthma is severe, it will not affect your application.

If I have a disability can I still apply?[+ / -]

South Wales Police welcomes applications from people with disabilities as defined by Equality Act 2010 i.e. a person is disabled under this Act if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term (over 12 months) adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. South Wales Police will try to make the reasonable adjustments required where practicable.

Please note that once a conditional job offer has been made, an applicant will be asked to complete a functional assessment form and attend a health screening where appropriate, which will require them to meet the health criteria intrinsic to the functions of that role where specified with or without reasonable adjustment.

I am epileptic – can I still apply?[+ / -]

You can apply to become a police officer as long as you have not had an epileptic attack or taken medication for the illness within the last two years. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

I have diabetes – can I still apply?[+ / -]

Yes as long as your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

Can you become a PCSO if you wear glasses or contact lenses?[+ / -]

If you successfully reach the medical examination stage of recruitment, you will have to undergo an eye test.

New recruits must have at least 6/12 vision in their right or left eye, or at least 6/6 vision in both eyes.

Those who wear glasses, spectacles or contact lenses must have at least 6/36 vision in both eyes without wearing their glasses, spectacles or contact lenses.

Is there a height restriction for PCSOs?[+ / -]

No, there is no minimum or maximum height.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?[+ / -]

If unfortunately you do not pass the initial application stage, we will notify you by post. You can reapply to join South Wales Police six months from the date of your notification letter, but only if we are currently recruiting.

I failed the assessment centre – what happens next?[+ / -]

If, unfortunately, you do not pass the assessment centre stage, we will notify you by post. You can reapply to join South Wales Police six months from the date of your notification letter, but only if we are currently recruiting.

I have a criminal record. Does this mean I can’t apply?[+ / -]

You may still be eligible to join the police service if you have minor convictions/cautions, but there are certain offences and conditions that will make you ineligible. This includes anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. When making our decisions we are guided by Home Office Circular 54/2003.  You can view this document on the Home Office website.

Didn’t find what you were looking for?[+ / -]

Contact us directly, or try www.askthe.police.uk, an official police resource with a huge bank of FAQ answers about the police.