Volunteer police officers clock more than 5,800 hours during the lockdown

Dorset Police volunteers

Volunteer police officers in Dorset, officially known as Special Constables, have dedicated more than 5,800 hours of their own time to support frontline police during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dorset Police currently has more than 126 “Specials” working throughout the force with the same powers and training as regular police officers. The only difference between Special Constables and Police Constables is that Specials are not paid for their time.

While performing their minimum of 16 hours of monthly duty, officers of the Dorset Special Constabulary have been supporting regular officers by ensuring that local communities are safe and secure.

Without the Special Constabulary, Dorset Police could not provide the service it does.

Special Constables give up their free time to help tackle crime in their local area by supporting regular officers out on patrol and engaging with the community. They have the same powers in law as regular police officers.

Dorset Police

It has been announced that certain individuals who have been placed on furlough or made redundant, have dedicated more than 70 hours on average each month to support full-time officers.

By volunteering their time, Special Constables are keeping Dorset safe.

Although many Specials have joined on their own accord, a key scheme is the Employer Supported Policing Scheme, which is an agreement between employers and Dorset Police. As part of the ESP, employers allow their employees a specified number of days a year to volunteer for the police. In exchange, employers can expect increased loyalty, improved satisfaction, more effective communication skills, better problem solving, understanding of the law, improved decision making, and much much more.

The Dorset Special Constabulary is integral to the delivery of service to the communities Dorset Police serve.

With the current national crisis it highlights once more the public-spirited and professional approach of colleagues within the Special Constabulary. Without them, we would be a far lesser organisation.

Chief Constable James Vaughan

If you would like an insight into the work of Dorset Special Constables, see @DorsetSpecials on Twitter or visit the Special Constabulary page.

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