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Community Specials – coming to a town near you

FOUR parish councils have signed up to fund a Special Constable in their area as part of Essex Police’s continued commitment to drive up the number of volunteer officers and keep policing local, visible and accessible.

Following a pledge by Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, to place a Special Constable in every community, the force continues to work towards doubling the Special Constabulary by the year 2020.

As well as launching a recruitment campaign, called ‘My Other Life’, the force has been working with town and parish councils across the county to secure funding for dedicated Community Special Constables.

Councils are being asked to cover the cost of expenses of the volunteer officer – which is approximately £1,000 a year – which will secure them a Special committed to policing their area.

As part of the agreement the Community Special will be expected to carry out a minimum of 16-hours on duty a month in their designated area, working as part of a Community Policing Team and with the council to identify and tackle the issues that matter most to their neighbourhood.

Many of Essex Police’s existing Specials carry out an average of 40 to 45 hours a month and 500 hours each year, so the scheme could bring a significant increase in visible policing in participating areas.

So far the parish and town councils which have agreed to fund a Community Special include: Billericay Town Council; Witham Town Council; Bicknacre and Woodham Ferrers Parish Council; and Buckhurst Hill Parish Council.

Efforts are now getting underway to recruit Special Constables in each area and many more areas are showing real interest.

Supt Simon Anslow, who leads Essex Police’s Special Constabulary, said: “Our Special Constables are a huge and vital part of our policing family, giving thousands of hours to investigate crime, support victims and catch criminals.

“They are the very heart of what it means to have local, visible and accessible policing and working in partnership with town and parish councils we can significantly increase the number of people who volunteer to make their communities safer.

“The Community Specials will be a committed resource for their designated area, performing the majority of their duties there and increasing visibility in their community.

“If you care about crime and policing in your community you can either support us by funding a Community Special or even becoming one.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “We know that safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build wellbeing and prosperity for all.

“This initiative is a great example of how by working together with local parish and town councils we can help communities keep safe.

“These fully warranted roles will also provide local people with the opportunity to make a huge contribution to the communities in which they live.”

There are dedicated section on our website about becoming a Special and how to support Community Specials https://www.essex.police.uk/join-the-police/special-constabulary/.

Special Constables have full police powers, uniforms, equipment and training.

To become a Special you need to be: 18 or over; commit to a minimum of 16-hours each month for operational duties plus mandatory training; meet the required fitness standard; and commit to the initial training requirement of 20 days.

Community Specials are committed to policing the area that pays for them. However where a critical incident occurs, for example a terrorist attack, the Community Special may be called on to help in another area of the county.

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PFCC for Essex, Kelvedon Park, London Road, Rivenhall, Witham, Essex, CM8 3HB
01245 291600

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