Suffolk Specials contribute 7000 hours over seven weeks
Suffolk’s Special Constabulary has contributed a total of over 7000 hours to support frontline policing since 23 March as part of the force’s on-going effort to manage the demands of Covid-19.
During the past few weeks, the force’s specials have been working with regular colleagues responding to ongoing incidents, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing the government’s social distancing measures.
Since 23 March to 12 May, 75 specials have performed 951 duties, totalling 7,004 hours, averaging at 93 hours per officer.
Special Chief Officer Dean Knight said: "These figures are phenomenal and demonstrates the commitment and passion of these individuals in aiding to help keep Suffolk safe during a difficult period. They undoubtedly show that the Special Constabulary officers are an integral part of the Suffolk police family.”
Karen Harris, Specials Volunteers and Cadets Manager said: "We also owe a huge debt of thanks to the employers who have released their staff who are Specials to help the community and the NHS to help save lives. Their accommodating, flexible and supportive approach has been a huge help to the community overall and we are extremely grateful.”
County Policing Commander for Suffolk Chief Superintendent Marina Ericson said: "The dedication and passion that the Specials constantly show is truly humbling. These highly committed individuals give freely of their time all year round and the role they play in bringing the police and public closer together is a vital one. Our special constables continue to be a vital asset as we continue to rise to the challenges Covid-19 poses.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: "We are very fortunate to have such an excellent Special Constabulary. These volunteers make an enormous contribution to keeping Suffolk safe, particularly during these difficult times. The number of hours worked demonstrates their unstinting commitment to help others and as Police and Crime Commissioner and on behalf of the public, I have nothing but praise and admiration for all they do.
"Many are supported wholeheartedly by their employers and for that everyone in Suffolk is very thankful.”
Suffolk has a team of 120 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
Recruitment for Specials continues during this time and we are actively seeking applications from all members of our Community, please look at our ‘join-us’ page for further information or contact me at [email protected]
You can also follow them on Twitter @SuffolkSpecials and @SPVolunteers
Some case studies: (see pictures below)
A/S/Sgt Shaun Wade joined Suffolk Special Constabulary in June 2018 and works for ASAP Supplies Ltd. He has been furloughed since 31 March allowing him to follow a regular shift pattern with his police officer colleagues in Lowestoft. Shaun completed 128 hours in April dealing with a variety of duties including arrests, foot patrols statements and vehicle checks.
SC Bradley Congalton joined Suffolk Special Constabulary in April 2019 and has a day job working within the NHS. His employer has allowed him to assist Suffolk Specials by releasing him two days out of his working week and has been able to commit to more duties than normal, helping to protect us and keep our communities safe.
SC Hazel Wenden, based at Halesworth, is a full-time mother of two children and has recently been able to commit to a regular shift pattern with the support of her husband. In one shift she completed 14 hours when dealing with a domestic GBH incident. SC Wenden has proven herself to be a fully competent officer and been granted independent status complete in just five months.
S/Insp Haydn Stephens is a traffic control manager at BIFFA and has been a Special for 11 years based at Mildenhall in west Suffolk. He has been furloughed from work and is subsequently working a full set of shifts alongside one team.
Mark Suthern, a managing director within financial services, released Special Constable Simon Ward for a 4-week period in order for him to assist in the west Suffolk area. Mark said: "Simon has only been a Special Constable for a relatively short period of time, however I was more than happy to grant leave to him in order to support policing in Suffolk. I think it is fantastic that he is willing to volunteer in this capacity and for us to support him in this endeavour establishes a great link to us, Suffolk Police and the community of Suffolk”.
Simon has received many positive comments from his regular colleagues since he finished his student training and moved onto his posting in mid-Suffolk. Officers are impressed with Simon's commitment, exceptional professionalism, maturity, dedication and supreme competency comes across when he deals with any situation.