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11 February 2011, 06:00
Around 400 volunteer police officers are working across Hertfordshire this weekend - to help tackle anti social behaviour.
It's part of a three day national campaign to raise awareness of the role Special Constables do in the community. Between Friday and Sunday the specials will be focusing on things like seizing alcohol and drugs and looking for people who are arriving drunk in town centres.
Special Chief Officer Peter Mould told Heart:
"The contribution specials make in Hertfordshire is virtually second to none. In the ten months of this reporting year we've just exceeded 122,000 hours. There are very few forces that actually breach the 100,000 mark, so to do that we're very proud and we're very proud of our team."
He continued that - with forces across the country facing budget cuts - the role of the volunteer police will become even more vital:
"Obviously the work of the specials will become more important in the next two or three years with budget cuts. I emphasise though that we're not there to replace regulars, we're there to support them. But yes, in the next few years specials will play a much greater part in policing their local communities."
Special Constables have the same powers - and wear the same uniform - as normal police, but don't get paid for the work they do. Most of them have full time jobs and volunteer for at least 16 hours a month.
In Hertfordshire they want to recruit officers who can work in rural communities, and are especially looking for people who own a horse and can become Mounted Rural Special.
For more information about becoming a Rural Special you can call Inspector George Holland on 01923 472 154, or to apply you can call 0800 358 3990 or do it via www.herts.police.uk/specials/index.htm