They are a complete waste of police resources where their costs could and should be diverted into real policing under the Public Spending Cuts review!
Abolish PCSO's. They are well paid with no more power than a glorified traffic warden. Did you know they cannot, by law: Make an arrest. Take a crime report. Charge anyone with a crime. They simply have the power to issue fixed penalty tickets! They are hardly justified when we are talking of public cuts to the police, including murder squads and terrorism officers!
Dressed in pretend police uniforms, complete with stab vests, they were introduced to fool the public into thinking "we have more police on the streets". It would be a joke if not for the fact that one and a half PCSO's could pay for one more fully trained, qualified and professional police officer in our police stations!