[P]olice in Barrow will be hoping to recruit officers to the Special Constabulary this weekend at an event in the town.
Officers from Cumbria Constabulary will be in Tesco, Hindpool, alongside Special Constabulary colleagues on Saturday (June 3rd), 12noon – 5pm, and encourage members of the public to come and find out more about the role of a Special, and other police volunteering opportunities.
Special Constables are volunteers who play a crucial role in fighting crime and making our streets safer, and form a vital link between their community and the police service.
And, it is a diverse role.
In 2016, Special Constables in Barrow made 31 arrests, and assisted a further 39. They were also involved in a number of operations, including Op Quadrant – a proactive operation to tackle crime and associated disorder, joint operations with the DVSA, those targeting rural crime and Furness Community Alcohol Partnership events.
They also assisted with events like Cartmel Races, and helped with the training of drug search dogs.
Barrow Inspector James Bailey, who will be at the event on Saturday, said: “I have worked with my colleagues from the Special Constabulary on a number of operations and their support has been invaluable.
“Without them, it would be much more difficult to conduct the types of operations we want to run to tackle local crime and anti-social behaviour issues.
“I think sometimes people form an impression that Specials do not do ‘real’ police work. The above shows that this is simply not true – Specials have the same powers as regular officers and get involved in a diverse range of operations and work.
“We currently have six Specials working in Barrow and three more in training, with service time ranging from just over a year to more than 10, but would love to recruit more. Being part of it is a great opportunity and challenge, and it can be extremely satisfying to know you are supporting and policing your community.
“We will be there on Saturday to answer any questions you may have and to provide more information about becoming a Special, or a Police Support Volunteer – there are a wide range of roles available.”
Acting Special Inspector Jessica Clulow said: “Being a Special Constable provides me with many opportunities to learn new skills, help those most vulnerable in the community, engage with the public at events and develop within myself.
“By having the rank structure it has allowed me to gain line management experience in a supported and friendly environment, which has been beneficial in my personal life too.
“I get involved in most things we are offered from bike marking schemes, to Cartmel Races, drug/drink drive campaigns, Kendal Calling music festival, assisting with the drugs dog training, recruitment events, poacher watch, tackling rural crime, assessment centre’s/interviews… the list goes on!”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “I have said before that we see the Special Constabulary as an essential part of policing in Cumbria. Being a Special Constable is a fantastic way to help protect our communities and I want also to recognise the selfless contribution that our specials make. In return you will receive the best leadership training and development and be part of an incredible team.
“As the examples above demonstrate, being a ‘Special’ is about much more than pounding the streets. We want people’s external skills to help us meet the demands in the changing nature of policing, and firmly believe that what you learn from us will enhance your skill-set too. I would urge people to come along on Saturday and find out more about the role, this may well be just the rewarding challenge you are looking for.”