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Police forces are to get a£2.5m government cash boost to kick-start ...
Police forces are to get a £2.5m government cash boost to kick-start

a campaign to recruit an extra 3,000 special constables, Home Office

minister Hazel Blears announced today.

Special constables are volunteer police officers who work with

regular police colleagues and other police staff, making an important

contribution to the work of the wider police family. This funding is

part of the government's drive to extend the police family to provide

a visible and reassuring police presence, and to take forward the

second stage of police reform by actively engaging local people in

how their communities are policed.

All 43 police forces across England and Wales will receive funding of

up to £70,000 to recruit dedicated staff and trainers to not only

increase the numbers of special constables, but to ensure they are

trained and retained effectively. Forces will be expected to recruit

at least 75 additional specials over the next three years, bringing

the total number of specials to more than 14,000 by 2006/7.

Ms Blears said: 'Volunteer special constables are a crucial part of

modern day policing. The skills, experience and local knowledge they

bring to policing makes a huge contribution to the communities they

serve. They are a key part of the wider police family, providing a

visible presence on the streets, and helping to cut crime and the

fear of crime.

'They are also an important part of the government's second phase of

police reform, which is ensuring that local communities are actively

engaged in how their communities are policed. Modern specials, with

full police powers, provide a crucial link between local communities

and their police forces. As volunteer police constables, they are the

ultimate active citizens, forging bonds between the public and the


'Some forces are more successful than others in recruiting and

retaining specials, which is why we need to share best practice, and

help all forces successfully attract, and then hold on to, these

highly valued individuals who play such a vital role in a modern

police service.'

New staff will also help implement good practice, ensuring that

specials are well-managed and purposefully deployed, reducing crime

and anti-social behaviour, and supporting local neighbourhoods.

Ms Blears also confirmed the date of the second national 'Specials

Weekend', which was first announced in June 2003: 'The 28 and 29

February 2004 will see the second ever national 'Specials weekend',

following on from the very successful event in February this year,

with special constables demonstrating the varied and demanding work

they do.

'The weekend will also see police forces running promotional events

to celebrate the contribution of their special constables and to

attract new recruits.'


1. The special constabulary is a voluntary body drawn mainly from the

community served by each local force. Specials have full police

powers and carry out a range of police work under the supervision,

and support of, regular officers. Specials give a few hours each

week, typically evenings and weekends.

2. The number of serving specials was 11,037 at 31 March 2003.

Specials have a key role in the reduction of crime and fear of crime

and make a vital contribution to addressing local policing problems.

3. Many forces are also increasing the opportunities which exist for

volunteers to help (non-warranted) police staff in roles ranging from

administration to front counter service in hard to reach areas.


4. The Home Office together with the Association of Chief Police

Officers has been working to produce Good Practice Guidance on all

aspects of specials' recruitment, management and deployment. Four

sections of the Guidance - on recruitment, employer support and

deployment through the National Intelligence and Reassurance models -

were de livered to forces earlier in October.

5. The Guidance has been produced from projects done by forces and

funded by the Home Office under the Champions Initiative launched by

John Denham in November 2002.

6. Almost all the projects recommended that forces introduce

dedicated staff, and in particular a co-ordinator, in order to make

the most of their special constabularies.

7. Home Office funding of up to £70,000 has therefore been provided

to help kick start this recommendation. Forces were invited to apply

for funding of up to £40,000 for dedicated staff to help manage and

recruit specials and up to £30,000 for a dedicated trainer. Those

Forces who could evidence staff in place already covering essential

roles were given the opportunity to apply for funding for initiatives

to support their activities.

8. The £2.5m was originally announced as part of the 03/04 and 04/05

funding packages by way of a Ministerial Statement.

9. All final applications met the required criteria and forces have

been awarded the amounts applied for, up to the maximums allowed.

Annex A shows awards.

10. Volunteering is a direct way of providing for community

engagement, one of the underpinning themes of the National Policing

Plan 2004-2007.

National Specials Weekend

11. The 2nd national 'Specials Weekend' will be held on the 28-29

February 2004. It will be organised jointly by the Home Office and

the Association of Chief Police Officers.

12. Information about the Special Constabulary can also be found on

the website:


Avon & Somerset 70,000.00

Bedfordshire 69,859.00

Cambridgeshire 70,000.00

Cheshire 70,000.00

City of London 70,000.00

Cleveland 70,000.00

Cumbria 65,316.00

Derbyshire 63,934.00

Devon & Cornwall 39,892.00

Dorset 70,000.00

Durham 66,820.00

Dyfed Powys 70,000.00

Essex 70,000.00

Gloucestershire 67,194.00

Greater Manchester 39,999.00

Gwent 67,516.00

Hampshire 54,684.00

Hertfordshire 62,453.00

Humberside 70,000.00

Kent 70,000.00

Lancashire 70,000.00

Leicestershire 70,000.00

Lincolnshire 23,134.00

Merseyside 65,434.00

Metropolitan Police 70,000.00

Norfolk 69,500.00

Northamptonshire 70,000.00

Northumbria 70,000.00

North Wales 63,710.00

North Yorkshire 70,000.00

Nottinghamshire 62,000.00

South Wales 69,006.00

South Yorkshire 63,400.00

Staffordshire 18,356.00

Suffolk 65,402.00

Surrey 70,000.00

Sussex 69,898.00

Thames Valley 69,779.00

Warwickshire 62,342.00

West Mercia 66,070.00

West Midlands 69,960.00

West Yorkshire 70,000.00

Wiltshire 69,950.00

TOTALS 2,765,608.00

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