New recruits sought by police

Editorial image
Editorial image

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a special constable?

Sussex Police is recruiting 120 new volunteers for training courses being run in 2014 to give their time and serve 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.

In Sussex, more than 380 people currently spend a minimum of four hours a week as volunteer police officers.

“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,” said Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne.

“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.”

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.

To find out more about what it’s like to volunteer as a special constable and how to make an application visit the Sussex specials website.

Assistant chief constable Robin Merrett added: “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.”