Following the success of National Specials Weekend across Friday, Saturday and Sunday of last week (3rd, 4th and 5th June), Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has pledged his support to Northamptonshire Police’s Special Constabulary, and announced that the strategic use of Special Constables will be a priority for his term in Office, with an intention to maintain the number of volunteers in policing in the county at a ratio of approximately one special constable to two full-time police officers.
Commissioner Mold, who accompanied Special Constables from around the county on patrol on Friday evening, revealed that he is working closely with Northamptonshire Police to ensure that Special Constables become a fully-integrated part of the Force, with an emphasis on providing the volunteer constabulary with the appropriate skills and equipment to ensure they can be at their most effective while working with their full-time colleagues.
Northamptonshire currently features the highest number of Special Constables to full-time officers in England and Wales, with over 700 Special Constables complementing 1,220 full-time officers. Following a review of the Special Constabulary in conjunction with Northamptonshire Police, Mr Mold said that he and Chief Constable Simon Edens were in agreement that the focus for the Special Constabulary should switch from that of further recruitment to one of better integration with full-time colleagues.
Stephen Mold, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“Northamptonshire Police have done an incredible job in recruiting over 700 members of the community to the Special Constabulary and as a result Northamptonshire is viewed as the leading Force when it comes to recruiting volunteers in policing.
“Special Constables contributed nearly 140,000 hours to helping keep the people of Northamptonshire safe in 2015, and their help is vital to our efforts of making communities safer places for us to live and work. As a result, the effective use of the Special Constabulary will be one of the key priorities of my Office.
“Having reviewed the recruitment and use of Special Constables and spoken with Chief Constable Simon Edens and his team, I believe the time is right to focus on maintaining a ratio of full-time officers to Special Constables of approximately two to one, and to focus on ensuring that Special Constables are fully integrated with the full-time Force so that their time, skills and training continues to make Northamptonshire safer.”
Deputy Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Andy Frost, added:
“I think the Commissioner’s review of the Special Constabulary is sensible and I agree that we should focus our efforts on looking at how best to use this large resource available to us.
“Recruiting 700 specials is an incredible effort and we now need to focus on really maximising the potential of this huge additional resource which we now have at our disposal.
“As part of our service delivery model work, we are already considering how to best integrate and deploy Specials so that we’re using them as imaginatively and effectively as possible.”