Latest News

Specials number fall by 1/3 in 5 years


Ian Miller, chairman of the Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO), said volunteers who joined the regular service had not been replaced.

Praise for Lincs Special constables

There are 125 special constables in Lincolnshire who are trained volunteers that work with and support local police. “The value of our Specials in this county is second to none"

10 days extra leave for council staff

Council staff are to be given an extra time off work so that they can volunteer with police to plug the gap in frontline services.

5 celebrities go on patrol for channel 4

Five celebrities have been on patrol to expereince policing at the sharpe end similar to thousands of specials each week

News news

Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill (Mon, 21 Jan 2019)
The landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill has been published today (Monday 21 January), aimed at supporting victims and their families and pursuing offenders. It comes as it is revealed domestic abuse issues cost the country £66 billion a year. To help tackle the crime, new legislation will: introduce the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse - this will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse issues introduce new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders prohibit the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts provide automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal courts The Home Office has published a report into the economic and social cost of domestic abuse, which reveals the crime cost England and Wales £66 billion in 2016 to 2017. According to the research, the vast majority of this cost (£47 billion) was a result of the physical and emotional harm of domestic abuse, however it also includes other factors such as cost to health services (£2.3 billion), police (£1.3 billion) and victim services (£724 million). Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability, Victoria Atkins said: “I have heard absolutely heartbreaking accounts of victims whose lives have been ripped apart because of physical, emotional or economic abuse they have suffered by someone close to them. “The draft Domestic Abuse Bill recognises the complex nature of these horrific crimes and puts the needs of victims and their families at the forefront. “This government is absolutely committed to shining a light on domestic abuse to ensure this hidden crime does not remain in the shadows.” It is estimated that around two million adults experience domestic abuse each year, affecting almost 6% of all adults. Women are twice as likely to be victims than men. The draft bill will introduce measures: to address coercive control and economic abuse, and how domestic abuse affects children to transform the response in the justice system The bill will also ban the distressing practice of domestic abuse victims being cross-examined by perpetrators in the family courts. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Domestic abuse shatters lives and tears families apart. It can happen anywhere, to anyone. “Protecting victims, as well as supporting survivors, is at the heart of our strengthened response to this horrific crime. “Our draft Domestic Abuse Bill and wider package of measures, unveiled today, will bolster the protection for victims and will help expose and bring the vile abusers to justice.” Justice Secretary David Gauke said: “Domestic abuse destroys lives and warrants some of the strongest measures at our disposal to deter offenders and protect victims. “That is why we are barring abusers from cross-examining their victims in the family courts - a practice which can cause immense distress and amount to a continuation of abuse - and giving courts greater powers, including new protection orders, to tackle this hideous crime. “By pursuing every option available, to better support victims and bring more offenders to justice, we are driving the change necessary to ensure families never have to endure the pain of domestic abuse in silence.” Between the draft bill and its consultation response, the government is making 120 commitments to tackle domestic abuse. Amongst these are a series of non-legislative measures which include: £8 million of Home Office funding to support children affected by domestic abuse a new crisis support system for those with no recourse to public funds additional funding and capacity building for services for disabled, elderly and LGTB victims updated support, training and guidance on economic abuse new and additional training for job centre work coaches, police, social workers and probation staff to help them recognise and effectively tackle abuse improved support for victims in the family court additional £500,000 funding for provisions for male victims Reporting concerns If you have a concern about someone you know, or someone you are in a relationship with you should contact your police force on 101. You should always dial 999 in an emergency.
>> Read more

Don’t let thieves take your Christmas presents away (Mon, 07 Jan 2019)
The period after Christmas is one of the key times in the year when you are most likely to be burgled, as thieves know you have new and expensive presents in your house. The cost of being burgled is far greater than just the cost of replacing items, as photos on a computer or jewellery may have sentimental value, whilst thieves can access sensitive data such as your bank details and e-mails on a smartphone or tablet. To help you keep your possessions safe, we have published advice with measures you can take to avoid becoming a victim of burglary. Be Cyber Aware Thieves are also attracted to gadgets such as smartphones or tablets, because of their value and the information they can reveal. More people now store valuable data – both personal and business – on devices like a smartphone, tablet or computer. If a hacker gains access to your device they could cause a lot of damage – for example, they can access sensitive data such as your email or bank details or your clients’ details if you are a business owner. To help you keep your data secure, the Cyber Aware campaign is encouraging people to take three simple steps to help stay secure online. These are: Make passwords stronger by using three random words Install security software on all devices Always download the latest software updates You can find out further information about being more secure online by visiting the Cyber Aware website, and by following Cyber Aware’s Facebook and Twitteraccounts to receive ideas and advice on how you can be more secure online and thwart cyber criminals, and don’t forget to share the posts.
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Party safe this Christmas (Mon, 17 Dec 2018)
As well as the health consequences, this can also lead to people losing their inhibitions and taking more risks with their personal safety leaving themselves vulnerable to becoming a victim of violence or sexual offences for example, or making the mistake of drink driving. Our tips could help prevent your night from ending badly. Getting there and back Plan your journey to and from home and if you get a taxi or minicab, make sure it's licensed Don't travel with a driver who has drunk alcohol or who may be under the influence of drugs If you're planning to drink alcohol, plan how to get home without driving: options include agreeing on a designated driver, getting details of a licensed taxi firm, or finding out about public transport routes and times Make sure somebody knows where you are going and what time you will be home Always carry your bag close to you with the clasp facing inwards. Keep your house keys in your pocket and if someone grabs your bag let it go Remember to keep hold of your bags and phone in restaurants and pubs If you think someone is following you, check by crossing the street - more than once if necessary - to see if they follow. If you are still worried, get to the nearest place where there are other people - a pub or anywhere with a lot of lights on and call the police on 101 Consider carefully whether to leave a pub, club or party with somebody you have just met Don't take short-cuts through dark alleys, parks or across waste ground Use routes that are well lit, and walk facing the traffic If you're walking home on a cold night make sure you're dressed to keep warm While you are out Make sure that your drink isn't left unattended If someone offers to buy you a drink, only accept if you know you can trust them Communal drinks such as punch bowls can easily be spiked. It's not always possible to know what's been mixed into these drinks, so stick to drinks that aren't shared If you begin to feel drunk after fewer drinks than normal, seek help from a trusted friend or management at the club/pub/licensed premises When you are out, keep your phone out of sight. If your phone is stolen or lost, call your network to get your phone blocked Think before you offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive; you can help reduce the number of people who are killed and injured every year by drink driving The law: For UK drivers, there are strict alcohol limits in breath, blood and urine. However, it is not possible to say how much alcohol you can drink while staying below the limit. The way alcohol affects you depends on: Your weight, age, sex and metabolism The type and amount of alcohol you're drinking What you've eaten recently Your stress levels at the time So if you're driving, it's better to have none for the road. The consequences: There are strict penalties if you are convicted of drink driving, including: A minimum 12 month driving ban A criminal record A fine of up to £5,000 An endorsement on your licence for 11 years However, the personal consequences of being caught drink driving can impact on your life in other ways, including: Increased car insurance costs Losing your job The shame of having a criminal record Losing your independence Trouble getting into countries such as the USA It is estimated that a drink driving conviction can cost from £20,000 to £50,000 as a result of fines, solicitors' fees, increased car insurance costs and impacts on employment. The advice: Beware the morning after: you could still be over the limit the day after drinking. Sleep, coffee and cold showers don't help you to sober up – time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system. There is no excuse for drink driving: alcohol affects everybody's driving for the worse. It creates a feeling of overconfidence, makes judging speed and distance more difficult, and slows your reactions so that it takes longer to stop. 'Only going down the road' is not an excuse: a large proportion of all drink drive crashes occur within three miles of the start of the journey.
>> Read more

Government launches new national hate crime awareness campaign (Thu, 01 Nov 2018)
The campaign launched on 31 October with adverts running on video-on-demand sites, social media and posters to be displayed across the country. Each video or poster features a different offender, represented by an e-fit, and a hate crime taking place. These include: a lesbian couple being verbally abused at a bar racist graffiti being sprayed on the shop of a foreign couple an offender posting hate-filled messages about a transgender woman online a Muslim woman being aggressively shouted at to remove her headscarf and a Jewish man being abused in the street a disabled man being verbally abused on a bus The campaign seeks to reassure communities at risk of hate crime that the government takes this seriously and to publicly address the attitudes and beliefs that foster hate crime and re-establish boundaries around not targeting people on the basis of their identity. This includes educating perpetrators who have been motivated by hostility towards the victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability that they have committed a hate crime. The strapline of the campaign sends a clear message about what hate crime is: ‘If you target anyone with verbal, online or physical abuse because of their religion, race, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity – you may be committing a hate crime. It’s not just offensive. It’s an offence.’ The dedicated campaign website also signposts organisations where victims and witnesses can get the support they need. Minister for Countering Extremism Baroness Williams said: "Committing a hate crime goes against all the shared values we hold and can have a traumatic impact on victims. "The campaign gives clear examples of hate crime and sends a message that not only is this behaviour unacceptable, it is a criminal offence. "This is just one part of the ongoing work of the government to tackle hate crime to ensure this sickening behaviour is stamped out." Wider work to tackle hate crime The campaign forms part of the government’s wider programme of work to tackle hate crime. Earlier this month the government updated its hate crime action plan, which included: asking the Law Commission to review hate crime legislation further funding for community groups to tackle hate crime extending the Places of Worship Security Scheme for a fourth year If you or someone you know is suffering hate crime, or has suffered hate crime in the past, please contact the police on 101. In an emergency dial 999. If you can't tell the police, you can report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or through their online form or contact a bespoke race, faith, disability or LGBT organisations. Information on these can be found on the True Vision website:
>> Read more



Protect the Protectors Bill receives Royal Assent

Fed welcomes announcement despite harsher punishment proposals being shunned by government.

A new law designed to protect police officers from assaults has today been enshrined in law.

People who assault emergency workers will face longer jail terms thanks to the so-called Protect the Protectors law, which will come into force in November.

The new legislation makes it an aggravating factor to assault or sexually assault a police officer or any other member of the emergency services, punishable by up to 12 months in prison.

The Police Federation of England and Wales wants the prison sentence increased and says its campaign has not yet finished.

John Apter, Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales said: “This has come after an incredible amount of hard work and lobbying by us. Being assaulted – whether you are a police officer, firefighter, prison officer or paramedic – is unacceptable and the sentences should be harsher.

“Whilst we didn’t get everything that we wanted in this Bill, it is a start and a significant improvement on what we had. We welcome it but our journey to ‘protect the protectors’ hasn’t finished – we will continue to lobby to ensure that when our members and other emergency services are assaulted, those responsible are given harsher sentences than they have in the past."

PFEW had been lobbying for an assault on an emergency worker to carry a maximum sentence of 24 months in prison, which was rejected in favour of 12 months.

As it stands however, magistrates are unable to impose this increased tariff as their sentencing powers are still limited to six months.

In order to change that the government will need to enact another piece of legislation, which has been sitting dormant on the statute books since 2003. If that does not happen, the 12 month maximum would only be available for those offenders sentenced at a crown court. 

Home Office figures show there were more than 26,000 reported assaults against police officers (including British Transport Police) in England and Wales during 2017/18. However the Fed believes the true figure is significantly higher.

Mr Apter added: “Attacks on blue light workers should never be considered ‘just part of the job’ and I hope this new law will act as a strong deterrent for those who think that it is acceptable to assault police officers or other emergency service workers and appropriately punish those who do.”

The law also provides extra protection to unpaid volunteers who support the delivery of emergency services including special constables.

Ian Miller, Chairman of the Association of Special Constabulary Officers, told Police Oracle: “Special constables are fully warranted officers and unfortunately they get a full share of violence against them.

“A vast majority of specials are on the front line and will benefit from this as it will give them added protection. We very much welcome it.”

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said: “Being attacked should never be part of the job for our courageous emergency services workers, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.

“This law will ensure judges can properly punish those despicable individuals who think it’s acceptable to assault these hard-working men and women.

“Unfortunately I hear about cowardly attacks on police officers and firefighters all too often – they serve as a constant reminder of the threats that these public servants have to face, and this government will always stand with our emergency services.”

Chris Bryant MP, who laid the Private Members Bill, said: “The growing tide of attacks on emergency workers – including ambulance workers, NHS staff, fire officers, prison officers and police – is a national scandal. All too often attackers get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.

“I hope this new law will help put a stop to that attitude. An attack on an emergency worker is an attack on all of us and attackers should face the full force of the law. Now it is for the prosecuting authorities and the courts to play their part in putting a stop to the violence, so that emergency workers can get on doing their job in peace.”

The measures will come into force in November.

Special Impact -Summer 2018



Monthly newsletters & other notices and documents will appear under the MEMBERS AREA. To add annoucements please email



November & December 2016
ASCCO Monthly Update November December [...]
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Police & Crime Act overview
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November & December 2015
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Association of Special Constabulary Officers is a registered charity 1179953 registered with the Charity Commission in England & Wales. Registered Office: Devon & Cornwall Police, Prevention Directorate (CiP), Middlemoor, Exeter, Devon, EX2 7HQ. © Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO) 2018.