It’s National Specials’ Weekend on Friday 2nd, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th June.
Devon and Cornwall Police and police forces around the country will be highlighting the vital work their Special Constabularies, generally known as ‘Specials’, do in supporting the safeguarding of our communities.
Special constables work a minimum sixteen hours each month, all voluntarily and in their own spare time. They help keep people safe in the Devon and Cornwall Police force area.
Devon and Cornwall Police has 460 Specials, each dedicated to supporting Devon and Cornwall Police. 40 more are due to join in September. Their ages range from twenty to sixty-eight. The longest serving officer was Special Chief Inspector Tim Courtis from Barnstaple. In February Tim completed 40 years’ service prior to his well-earned retirement.
Special Constables are now more integrated into the fabric of policing than ever, taking on specialist functions including roads policing, rural crime, public order duties, professional standards and cyber‐crime to name but a few.
Marc Kastner, Chief Officer, Special Constabulary, said: “We are incredibly lucky with the volunteers, both special constables and police support volunteers, who regularly give their time to serving their communities. Their commitment supports paid staff to make Devon and Cornwall such a treasured place to live and work.”
“I would encourage the public to approach any Special they see in their local area this weekend and talk about the issues that are concerning them”.
Specials are trained volunteers who work with their local police. They come from all walks of life and usually have day jobs. They have the same powers in law as regular police officers and have the power of arrest.
In 2016-17 Specials put in over 95,000 duty hours across the force area. Amongst other activities, this weekend Specials will be on duty assisting with roads policing operations, at major gatherings including the Torbay Airshow and Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival, and conducting pro-active rural patrols.
Chief Superintendent for local policing Jim Colwell said “The work of the Special Constabulary is incredibly important to us. We value highly the positive engagement they bring to our local communities.
“The Specials Weekend 2017 is an excellent opportunity to showcase the work they carry out in local neighbourhoods to help keep people safe, and for recognising and appreciating that valuable input.”
So if you see a Special Constable in your local area this weekend, please give them a thumbs up and take a moment to thank them for their efforts. You can follow activities over the weekend through the Twitter hashtag: #specialsweekend17
Devon and Cornwall Police is not currently accepting new applications to become a Special Constable, but you can find out more about the entry requirements on the force’s website, here: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/your-right-to-information/our-people/recruitment/special-constables/
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News