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.
A PCSO is a serving member of the police while an accredited person is a member of the public. 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
There are a range of powers a chief officer within a force area might grant, these include the power 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
How to recognise an accredited person
An accredited person must carry an identification card.
The card lists the powers the person is trained and authorised to use, for example, ‘power to require persons aged under 18 to surrender alcohol’ or ‘power to request name and address of a person acting in an antisocial manner’.
It’s an offence if a person fails to comply with an authorised request from an accredited person.
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: