Northamptonshire Police are celebrating after reaching a landmark 500 Special Constables, having added over 150 new officers in the past year.
The total means Northamptonshire Police has the largest ratio of Special Constables to regular officers anywhere in England and Wales, and the fifth highest total number of Special Constables of any police force, adding huge capacity to their regular, full-time officers.
The county’s police force is now made-up of 1,731 officers, of which nearly a third are volunteer, Special Constables who have the same powers as their paid equivalents.
Northamptonshire Police’s Special Constabulary consists of 502 uniformed officers, who contribute an average of 24 hours per month each. Having completed 110,000 hours of duty in 2014 – equivalent to 60 full-time officers – Special Constables are expected to give 125,000 hours in 2015 to helping Northamptonshire become the safest place in England.
The volunteer force has made over 500 arrests and recorded nearly 1,000 crimes so far this year, working across various different police departments. And with hundreds of applications being received every month from people looking to join the ranks, the constabulary is expected to continue to grow at pace.
Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“I’d like to say a huge congratulations to Northamptonshire Police for passing this landmark of 500 Special Constables, and a huge thank you to the 502 Special Constables who give their time up for free for the benefit of their communities.
“When I began my term as Police and Crime Commissioner for the county, I set the ambitious target of recruiting and training 900 special constables in order to help make Northamptonshire the safest place in England, and passing the 500 mark is a significant milestone in our journey towards that goal.
“I am committed to helping Chief Constable Simon Edens and Northamptonshire Police create a workforce that can deliver to the expectations of our residents, and having over 500 Special Constables on board is helping us considerably to achieve that.”
Simon Edens, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, added:
“We are here to protect communities and keep people safe and I therefore pay tribute to those Special Constables who have volunteered to protect and serve their communities in this way.
“As Chief Constable, I will do my very best to make them an integrated part of how we police Northamptonshire in the future.”