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Highgate PCSO falls asleep on the job

PUBLISHED: 12:11 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:21 07 September 2010

A COMMUNITY police officer has landed in hot water after being caught napping on the job instead of patrolling the streets, writes Ben McPartland. The female police community support officer (PCSO) was reportedly sleeping in a caretaker s office on an est

A COMMUNITY police officer has landed in hot water after being caught napping on the job instead of patrolling the streets, writes Ben McPartland.

The female police community support officer (PCSO) was reportedly sleeping in a caretaker's office on an estate in Highgate when she should have been on duty.

The officer, who was a member of the Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods team, was immediately removed from front line duty last month when her bosses found out.

Chairwoman of the team's citizen's panel Avril Castellazzo said: "It is completely unacceptable. I feel very sorry for the rest of our team who have really suffered because of this.

"It has been bad for morale and they have had to work three times as hard."

In May Ms Castellazzo told a public meeting of police and community chiefs that the calibre of some recent PCSOs was not up to scratch and was undermining the team's good work.

She believes the Met need to introduce tougher standards for aspiring PCSOs, who can earn up to £25,000 a year.

"They need to review the way they are recruited and the way they are sent to each team," she said.

A spokeswoman for the Met said: "All applicants need to complete a rigorous selection process. This includes a competence-based application form and a selection centre. This includes an interview, written tests and two interactive role plays.

"Performance is measured against a set of skills identified as necessary for the role. We expect staff to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost of integrity. Any instance where the conduct of our staff brings the Met into disrepute is taken extremely seriously."

Camden police are investigating.


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