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. Is your organisation looking to join the CSAS? Find out more below and download our Employers' Guide.
CSAS or PCSO: What’s the difference?
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 Met’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
- stop and inspect a vehicle
These are just a few examples. To find out more about community safety accreditation scheme powers, and the situations in which they may be used, visit the UK Government's website.
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:
- local authorities
- housing associations
- licensed private security firms
- NHS trusts
- charitable organisations
To learn more about CSAS and find out how to get in touch, download our Employers’ Guide.