The community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS) gives a member of the public a range of powers usually only available to police, such as the authority to issue fixed penalty notices for certain offences.
Members of the CSAS often include neighbourhood wardens, park wardens, hospital security staff, trading standards officers and train guards.
People often confuse Community Safety Accreditation with being a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), but there is a big difference.
A PCSO is a serving member of the police while an accredited person is a member of the public. For this reason a PCSO wears a police uniform, while an accredited person wears the uniform of their employing organisation and an ID badge endorsed by their local police force.
The powers available to an accredited person are also more limited than those available to a PCSO.
Powers available to an accredited person
As part of the CSAS it’s possible to have a range of powers. Within the force’s jurisdiction, these are conferred by our chief officer and can include the authority, in specific situations, to:
request an offender’s name and address
issue a fixed penalty notice
issue a penalty notice for disorder
confiscate items such as tobacco or alcohol
These are just a few examples. Police CPI Ltd have produced a number of case studies highlighting how schemes have been used effectively across a number of different settings.
An accredited person must carry an identification card which sets out the powers they are trained and authorised to use. If a person fails to comply with an authorised request from an accredited person, this is an offence.
Who can apply
Under Part 4 of this Police Reform Act 2002, any organisation or employer involved in community safety patrols, together with their employees, may seek accreditation. Typical examples are: