Police support officers are 'a con'

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Britons are being "conned" by the Government's use of police community support officers (PCSOs), in a "flawed experiment", according to the Police Federation.

"They were brought in for best of reasons," said Paul McKeever, chairman of the Federation, "but I think it was a deeply flawed experiment." He also said that the hundreds of millions spent on the scheme could have paid for 12,000 extra police officers.

"If you are, in effect, conning the public by putting people in uniform who the public believe have powers they don't possess, why are we employing them?"

The criticisms are made in a Dispatches documentary about PCSOs, on Channel 4 tomorrow.