Sussex; Police Want More Special Constables

28 August 2013, 06:00

Sussex Police are recruiting volunteers to become Special Police Constables. Being a special constable is one of the most unique and interesting ways to volunteer your time to serve the local community.

In Sussex, over 380 people currently spend a minimum of four hours a week as volunteer police officers serving the local community. Special constables have the same powers and much of the same training, as full-time officers. Playing a vital role in neighbourhood policing teams, these officers can also train to undertake specialist roles in response and road policing.

Now you have a chance to be one of 120 new recruits currently being sought for training courses being run in 2014.

Special Constable Colin Tribe volunteers with the Brighton and Hove Neighbourhood Policing Team and also works full time for the Brighton Marina Estate Management Company. Colin, who is part of the Employer Supported Policing initiative, said:

"I joined Sussex Police as a special constable five years ago because I wanted to contribute to making Sussex a safer place and have always wanted to see if I could meet the challenge of being a uniformed police officer. I volunteer regularly in my own time because the satisfaction I get out of making my community a safer and more pleasant environment is immeasurable. The thing I enjoy the most is knowing I am making a difference to the quality of peoples' lives.

"The support I get from my full time employer to volunteer as a special constable shows their dedication to giving something back to the community that we live and work in - this is further repaid by the enhanced training and professionalism that I then bring back to my day job."

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, said: "I am delighted to be opening recruitment for 120 special constables as I am a huge advocate of the benefits of volunteering and of communities getting involved in keeping their local areas safe. These volunteer officers are a unique group of people who give their time for free to help keep Sussex safe, and they bring experience and diversity to the workforce.

"It was my election pledge to further increase and encourage volunteering in Sussex and increasing the number of special constables is a significant part of this. Greater police visibility is one of the things the public speak to me about the most. These officers will help to achieve the objectives within the Police & Crime Plan of building safer communities, increasing police visibility, improving public confidence and focusing positively on victims."

Assistant Chief Constable Robin Merrett said: "These volunteers have the same powers and often face the same decisions as regular police officers. Working as a special constable gives members of the community the opportunity to get right into the heart of Sussex Police and ultimately the communities we serve so we are looking for people all across the county for this role.

"As the lead for volunteers and special constables in Sussex I'm extremely proud of all those who give up their time to work alongside our policing teams, together they have volunteered nearly 60,000 hours since the beginning of this year. Their commitment and enthusiasm is admirable."

Special constables devote a minimum of 16 hours a month, supporting local police teams, gaining new experiences and skills and learning about many aspects of police work. In depth training is provided covering the police service, the duties of a police officer, powers of arrest and common crimes, how to prepare evidence for court and personal safety.