Public Order and FSG

Force Support Group (FSG, Devon and Cornwall)

This video looks at the work of specialist officers in the Force Support Group (FSG in Devon and Cornwall and the Enhanced Policing Team (EPT in Dorset).

You can follow the Alliance Operations department on Twitter at @AllianceOpsDept where we welcome your comments and queries.

Q: Are Force Support Group (FSG) officers literally held in reserve?

A: No, they are not and never have been reserves. FSG officers possess a unique and extremely valuable skill set. They work every day on a variety of tasks that utilise that skill set.

Q: Are FSG officers a certain age or rank?

A: Age and rank are immaterial, the qualifying factor is an ability to fulfil the role, which can be quite demanding.

Q: Does the FSG include, for instance, firearms officers, dog handlers etc.?

A: FSG includes Specialist Firearms Officers (SFOs), the marine policing team, police divers and core FSG officers.

Q: The video shows officers policing local football matches. What other sorts of events do FSG officers get involved in?

A: The highest volume of work by FSG officers is against organised crime group criminality, such as executing search warrants, conducting high risk searches and generally engaging in higher risk activities that are aligned to their skill set. Policing crowded events, football matches and demonstrations can be part of that.

Q: Does the taxpayer carry the cost of policing football matches?

A: It depends on a number of factors but cost recovery against commercial deployments such as concerts and football matches is becoming more common place.

Q: Does “public order” refer to riots?

A: It is a situation with a crowd dynamic where a degree of risk or unknown outcome exists.

Q: How many FSG officers are there in the Alliance policing area?

A: FSG is a Devon and Cornwall resource and has 60 Constables, 10 Sergeants, one Inspector and one Police Staff member. Dorset has a unit called the Enhanced Policing Team (EPT) which provides a similar skill set. The future model is to merge both units.

Q: When the FSG is used, are the officers working overtime?

A: No, the officers work a variety of normal 8/9/10 hour shifts but often incur overtime due to the nature of their work.

Q: Does the FSG help other police forces or organisations elsewhere in the country?

A: Yes, the FSG skill set makes them a highly sought after resource and regional and national deployments are common place.

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