Police Community Support Officers are disciplined at twice the rate of rank-and-file police, new figures show.
Last year 359 PCSOs – dubbed Blunkett’s Bobbies – were disciplined, including 10 charged with criminal offences. Around a third of the cases concerned neglect of duty.
Total disciplinary actions against PCSOs are more than double the number of two years ago. In one force one PCSO in six faced an internal investigation.
The figures were released by 39 out of 43 forces in England and Wales after Freedom of Information Act requests by More4 News.
There were 1,849 actions against ordinary officers last year – around 1 per cent of the total. More than two in every 100 PCSOs were disciplined.
David Blunkett, the then Home Secretary, introduced PCSOs with the aim of improving public confidence in the police and tackling anti-social behaviour. But critics branded them “plastic bobbies”.
In September 2007, two PCSOs failed to rescue 10-year-old Jordan Lyon who drowned in a lake in Wigan, Greater Manchester, because they were “not trained” to deal with the incident.