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British force not same as Garda Reserve

Your editorial yesterday erroneously equated the UK's Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) with the Garda Reserve and implies that it's an unpaid part-time force.

Whilst acknowledging the point that the editorial tried to make, the PCSO force in the UK is actually full-time and is a salaried post with members earning in the region of £25,000 (€28,000) per annum.

They are not, however, attested constables and don't have police powers of arrest.

The part-time volunteer officers your editorial may have wished to refer to in the UK are the Special Constables -- an unpaid volunteer force made up of people who contribute a minimum of 16 hours a month and have the same powers and responsibilities as full-time police in the London Metropolitan Police.

S Mac Pilib

Irish Independent