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New figures out today show Special Constables within Northamptonshire Police have contributed almost 70,000 hours of their time to the Force in the 12 months to May.
As part of National Volunteers Week, which runs until Monday, June 7, the Force has recorded a total of 67,670 hours of policing carried out by our team of 168 Specials
Special Constables are primarily deployed across response and neighbourhood teams with a small dedicated cohort of 10 officers working on safer roads.
And this year, for the first time, Special Constables have been invited to provide mutual aid to Devon & Cornwall Police for the upcoming G7 Summit and we have committed five Specials who have volunteered to spend five days away from home policing the event.
During lockdown, Specials continued to support their regular colleagues, providing more than 15,000 hours of time to carrying out Covid patrols.
In addition, 240 police support volunteers are providing help across a range of areas including Street Watch, Volunteers on Horseback, and Chaplaincy.
Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless today paid tribute to all those whose efforts have helped bolster the work of Northamptonshire Police: “These figures are amazing. Our Specials give over their own time to support operational policing right across the county in a number of different ways. They play an absolutely vital role and it’s great their work can be spotlighted as part of National Volunteers Week.
“In addition, our police support volunteers undertake great and invaluable work for the Force and it’s fantastic that their contribution is being recognised too.”
Northamptonshire Police is currently in the middle of a recruitment campaign for Special Constables and we already have 23 candidates in training.
Applications can be made easily online by following the link on our website – www.northants.police.uk
Police Support Volunteers (PSVs) give up their time freely to support the force and communities. Many hours that volunteers put in free up officers to continue to support frontline policing, patrolling for hours that the Force could not achieve without sacrifice including:
Street Watch - a huge volunteer scheme, bringing communities together to keep local areas safer through patrols and linking in with local police. There are 12 area schemes currently in action with an average of 10 per scheme and two more communities setting one up.
Each member must commit at least two hours per month and with over 100 active volunteers this shows the impact the scheme can have and the good it can do for communities.
Volunteers on horseback support communities and local police by being the eyes and ears in some of the most rural areas. The advantages of volunteers on horseback is they can monitor fields, farms, and areas where crime happens often without being noticed. Being able to move quickly on horseback covering more rural areas and a sight from a higher level, VOH are a major support to the police and reassurance to communities. We have 47 registered VOHs.
In January 2020, 350 hours were recorded from PSVs with almost 200 of those hours dedicated to administration support roles to the force throughout departments.
These include disability access, photographic support, transport/logistics support, cyber-security, forensics, cold case review support and initial investigations.
There also volunteers working in the Force Control Room, in schools engagement, academic research and crime prevention and general administration.
One Police Support Volunteer who was allowed to attend the station during lockdown is pensioner Roy Newman, based at Wellingborough.
“I have been volunteering for Northamptonshire Police since April 2014 and my role is to keep the general public informed on burglary and vehicles crimes in my area.
“I am retired and lost my wife last year and I was in a bad place, but I was given permission to come into the station and carry on with my job.
“The best part of my role is the help I received from everyone at the station - some who I knew, some I did not - but it was so good and I am positive that rally-round saved my life.
“I have been accepted into a team and I really enjoy my time with the police - if there is any job I can help with I will.
“I would recommend volunteering to anyone, the chance to get involved with one of the hardest jobs carried out by some of the nicest people I have met.”