WHEN PCSOs were first introduced, their limited powers prompted questions over their effectiveness.
But a decade on, Police Community Support Officers are recognised as playing a vital role in the fight against crime.
PCSO Daryl Holter was one of the first recruits to join Sussex Police on March 3, 2003.
A former motorcycle mechanic, Daryl decided he wanted a new challenge.
He said: “I wanted to mix it up a little and put myself into a job which would challenge me on a daily basis. When you enter a job you may have an idea of what it involves, but when you get there it may be quite different to what you expect.”
The 33-year-old has worked out of Rye and Bexhill Police Stations but has spent eight of his 10 years at Battle.
PCSO Holter has changed villages during that time and can currently be seen on the streets of Catsfield, Crowhurst, Ninfield, Hooe and Ashburnham.
He works closely with communities and other agencies. But its not just about patrolling the High Street, attending meetings and visiting schools.
PCSOs are often first on the scene of major incidents, such as road traffic accidents. And PCSO Holter has been involved in a number of major police operations, including a poaching crackdown a couple of years ago, which resulted in successful prosecutions.
PCSO Holter, who specialises in wildlife crime, has been awarded four divisional congratulations in the past 10 years. But despite his success and love of the job, PCSO Holter does not want to become a police constable.
He said: “The policing that I do is about having a job you can see through from beginning to end, no matter about the time scale. You build up rapports and relationships in your community. You cannot build those in weeks or months. They take a long time to establish. Becoming a police officer would take me away from what I love doing.”
He added: “The best thing over the last 10 years is every day is a different day. And to go home knowing that you have made a difference to somebody.”