Volunteer officers have been “celebrated and recognised” after lending thousands of hours in the aftermath of recent terror attacks. -Article from Police Professional
‘National Specials Weekend’ took place from June 3-4 to highlight the work of volunteer officers across the country.
The event was disrupted by the London Bridge terror attack on Saturday (June 3), but special constables were providing additional resources in London and the North West within hours.
The week following the Manchester attack, Greater Manchester Police special constables delivered more than 4,700 hours’ service – valued at over £140,000.
Chief Officer Dale Checksfield, of Durham Special Constabulary, claims the relationship between specials and full-time police officers has “never been closer” as the Special Constabulary professionalises.
He said: “National Specials Weekend is the one weekend each year where the year round efforts of the Special Constabulary, as an integrated part of policing, are celebrated and recognised.
“Special constables serve on the front line of policing, across the UK, and do so for no reward.
“They face the same risks as their paid colleagues and it is right that we highlight the value they bring to our communities and share our thanks for what they give freely.”
This year’s National Specials Weekend – which kick-started National Volunteers Week – had no theme to enable forces to determine how best to use their resources in response to high levels of demand.
Many special constables were deployed in reassurance patrols and to support events like the One Love concert in Manchester – held on Sunday (June 4) to raise money for the victims of the recent attack.
Others were delivering road traffic operations and augmenting response and neighbourhood policing.
The Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers (ASCCO) also announced over the weekend that more volunteer officers will be recruited by 2020 “to add value to policing”.
North Wales Police intends to recruit 100 more special constables over the next three years. The other three Welsh forces have not set specific targets.
ASCCO chair Ian Miller said: “I think by increasing the number of specials, it gives resilience to police forces with the security threat.
“There’s an advantage in being able to call on fully qualified people to provide an additional resource during times of need.”