Being a PECS PCO

In their words

What else is involved in the role? How does it feel to really help people? And why should you apply? Let two of our current team tell you.

Susan

What qualities do you need to be a good Prisoner Escort Custody Officer?

You need self-confidence, and the ability to reach and reassure people. You also need empathy and good communication skills. 

Do you get to see the difference that you make in people?

Definitely. I’ve put people at ease and helped them to move on. I’ve enabled them to be more open and receptive to the support on offer. 

What’s the one thing people should know about this job?

It’s a big responsibility and you have to be careful not to tarnish everyone with the same brush. Also, the hours are unpredictable – you could be done in 4 or 14!

What makes you proud about doing this job? 

On a few occasions I have managed to stop a prisoner from hurting themselves and managed to calm them down. This has really made me proud. 

Why should someone consider applying?

It’s very challenging but so rewarding. If you are good with people – if you can reassure them and put them at ease, this can be a job for life.  
 

Moriam

What qualities do you need to be a good Prisoner Escort Custody Officer?

Patience, as well as vigilance and the ability to work and communicate in a team, you really need that. 

Do you get to see the difference that you make in people?

I do. There was a multi handler trial and one of them got released, and it was just amazing. You know he's going home to his family. We were all happy for him. 

What’s the one thing people should know about this job?

It’s a very rewarding job. It really is. It opens up a lot of potential, and a lot of career opportunities. But it’s a role that can stretch you. Emotionally. And you’re not always prepared. It takes you from calm to chaos – and you take them from chaos to calm. 

What makes you proud about doing this job? 

I’m changing lives. I just love the way that you're like this human presence in this otherwise quite kind of dehumanising process. It’s the little things that help make a difference. We’re there to keep them going. To make the process easier for them.

Why should someone consider applying?

I would encourage anyone looking for a more fulfilling role to apply, because it’s a very rewarding job. I’ve gained so many transferable skills from it, and it’s given me the confidence to deal with so many different types of people.