a campaign to recruit an extra 3,000 special constables, Home Office
minister Hazel Blears announced today.
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
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
'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
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: www.specialconstables.gov.uk
Avon & Somerset 70,000.00
City of London 70,000.00
Devon & Cornwall 39,892.00
Dyfed Powys 70,000.00
Greater Manchester 39,999.00
Metropolitan Police 70,000.00
North Wales 63,710.00
North Yorkshire 70,000.00
South Wales 69,006.00
South Yorkshire 63,400.00
Thames Valley 69,779.00
West Mercia 66,070.00
West Midlands 69,960.00
West Yorkshire 70,000.00