PCSO20 Campaign


PCSO20 is the name for UNISON’s campaign to celebrate 20 years of Police Community Support Officers.

July 2022 saw in the 20-year anniversary of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) delivering neighbourhood policing. The PCSO role was created by the 2002 Police Reform Act and since that time PCSOs have more than proved their worth.

UNISON is the union for PCSOs. We are proud to represent them and the vital work that they do. We hope that everyone with an interest in policing will join with us and our members to toast the success of PCSOs in delivering neighbourhood policing over the last 20 years. Without PCSOs there simply is no local policing.


PCSOs provide a highly visible police presence. They deter anti-social behaviour, provide reassurance, gather intelligence and work with businesses, schools and statutory partners to keep communities safe. PCSOs are a force for good.

People love PCSOs’ visibility, their in-depth knowledge of local areas and their approachability. The PCSO role attracted the highest ever proportion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic new joiners to the police service. Put simply, PCSOs are key to maintaining public confidence in policing.


Despite their success, PCSO numbers in England have been cut by 45% since 2010. In Wales, by contrast, the Welsh Government has invested in additional PCSOs, showing very clearly that, where there is political will, neighbourhood policing can be actively grown.

So, on this 20-year anniversary, UNISON is calling on the UK Government, MPs, Senedd Members, Chief Constables, Police and Crime Commissioners, Council Leaders and Elected Mayors, to commit to support the PCSO workforce for the next 20 years.  This will need extra funding to increase PCSO numbers in England. UNISON is calling for an additional 7,600 PCSO posts here to replace those lost since 2010.

You can see the impact of PCSO cuts on forces in England here:

COMMEMORATIVE BOOKLET: read all about the work of PCSOs here:

  • English language version (Vinay can supply PDF)
  • Welsh language version (Vinay can supply PDF)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PCSOs: here’s the birthday card we sent to a wide range of politicians last year:

  • English language version (Vinay can supply PDF)
  • Welsh language version (Vinay can supply PDF)


  • Westminster and Senedd Parliamentary Launches

In July 2022, a UNISON PCSO members helped to launch our PCSO 20 campaign at Parliament in Westminster and at the Senedd in Cardiff.

At Westminster, speakers at the launch included Christina McAnea, UNISON General Secretary, Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, David Blunkett, former Labour Home Secretary who introduced PCSOs in 2002, Jo Stevens, Shadow Welsh Secretary and Sarah Jones, Shadow Police Minister.

You can see photos of the Westminster launch here: (Demetrios has the images which Mike Rose took of the event)

In the same month, UNISON launched our campaign in Wales at the Senedd. Speakers at the event included: Jane Hutt, Minister for Social Justice, Phil Williams, Chair of UNISON Cymru/Wales Police and Justice Committee, Ben Priestley, UNISON National Officer and ?

  • PCSO 20 Year Anniversary Conference and Awards Ceremony

The UNISON Centre in London was the venue for a special conference and awards ceremony on 12 January 2023 to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the creation of Police Community Support Officers.

UNISON was proud to host the event at the UNISON Centre in London. It was jointly organised between UNISON, National Police Chiefs Council and the College of Policing. Nominations for the 8 PCSO award categories were canvassed back in the summer of last year and there was a fantastic response from forces and UNISON branches.

The day kicked off with a Conference which heard from a wide range of speakers, each one of whom highlighted the very special work which PCSOs carry out in their communities.

The speakers were:

  • DCC Claire Parmenter – NPCC Lead for Neighbourhood Policing
  • PCC Alun Michael – Association of Police Authorities
  • ACC Iain Raphael – College of Policing
  • ACC Rachel Nolan – NPCC Lead for PCSOs
  • PCSO Dave Bryant – Chair of the NPCC PCSO Practitioners Group
  • Yvette Cooper MP – Shadow Home Secretary
  • Ben Priestley – UNISON National Officer

Following the conference, the 32 finalists in the 8 categories, together with colleagues, friends and family enjoyed a drinks reception followed by the award ceremony itself, which was compared by stand-up comic Alfie Moore.

The winners in each category were as follows:

  • Bravery – Stuart Lloyd – South Wales Police
  • Community Engagement – Kathleen O’Reilly – North Yorkshire Police
  • Early Intervention – Rachel Mason – Nottinghamshire Police
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: Leanne Thomas – South Wales Police
  • Innovation – Darren Barnett – West Mercia Police
  • Partnership Working – Gemma Lee – West Midlands
  • Problem Solving – Julie Wood – West Yorkshire
  • Lifetime Achievement – Trevor Wood – Surrey Police

UNISON extends our congratulations to all the worthy winners, including the UNISON members among them, as well as to all the runners up.

The Conference and Awards were a great example of the Police Service coming together to celebrate and honour all the PCSOs who go to work everyday to keep their communities safe.

Our PCSO20 campaign continues to raise public awareness of the damage being done to neighbourhood policing by cuts to PCSO numbers.