Suffolk’s special constables step up to support force and communities
Suffolk’s special constables have contributed a combined total of more than 800 hours to support frontline policing in the county over the past week.
A total of 47 special constables completed 117 duties and 845 hours of deployment between Wednesday 1 April and Tuesday 7 April, as part of Suffolk Constabulary’s effort to manage the daily demands of Covid-19.
During the past week, the force’s special constables have been working with regular colleagues responding to ongoing incidents, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing the government’s social distancing measures.
Special Chief Officer Dean Knight said: “The Special Constabulary officers are an integral part of the Suffolk police family. The training and support they receive ensures that they provide a valuable contribution to the safety of Suffolk.
“I have been deeply touched by the number of duties they have performed over the past few weeks and I am indebted to their families for their support. I am also proud of the employers who have released their staff who are specials to help the community and the NHS to help save lives. They have been flexible by giving them additional time off to support the community, and in some cases, given them paid leave to provide a valuable service at this challenging time.
“All of our officers are committed to stand side-by-side with the Suffolk police family in order to provide visible frontline policing, to support the community and also by looking out for the vulnerable, allowing key workers to focus on the priorities over the coming weeks.”
County Policing Commander for Suffolk Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson said: “In Suffolk, we are extremely blessed with having so many dedicated and passionate people who are part of our extended policing family and who put themselves forward to help and support their communities at this time. Our special constables are a vital asset as we continue to rise to the challenges Covid-19 poses.
“I am so grateful to those people and businesses who employ special constables across the county for supporting their staff and allowing them to take time off to support us at such an unprecedented time.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Our volunteer police officers are not called Specials for nothing, they really are very special and we are absolutely indebted to each and every one of them.
"I am a great supporter of the fantastic work that our special constables carry out across the county every day and even more so now, as we face the challenges of Covid-19. Specials play a very important role in policing the county, they give their time for nothing and add a completely different dimension to the policing family. We are very grateful for the fantastic support they provide across a wide breadth of operational policing in Suffolk.”
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the special constables who give their time so generously to support the work of the Constabulary and to also thank those employers who have released their staff to concentrate on their policing duties.”
Suffolk has a team of 126 special constables working various shift patterns in order to support the force. They provide a range of skills, including supporting vulnerable people, logistics and planning, as well as working as operational officers deployed around the county. Special constables have the same powers as regular police officers but serve as volunteers.
They perform a variety of police duties, including providing foot and vehicle patrols, being part of an immediate response team and helping at major incidents, operations and events. They also offer vital links in the partnership between the police service and the public.
For more information on the role of special constable, visit http://www.suffolk.police.uk/join-us/volunteers/special-constabulary
You can also follow them on Twitter @SuffolkSpecials and @SPVolunteers