The late team of specials book on duty for the bed race
The late team of specials book on duty for the bed race - courtesy of @HambSpecials

Special Constables devote 1168 hours to policing in one week

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86 Special Constables (volunteer police officers) gave up 1,168 hours of their own time to policing North Yorkshire last week covering the National Special Constabulary Weekend and an extended week of action, culminating in three major events in York, Knaresborough and Skipton.

1 June 2017  saw specials take to the streets of York to support regular colleagues on high-visibility and antisocial behaviour patrols as well as supporting response officers with ongoing incidents into the early hours. Drink and drug drive patrols followed over the weekend with officers supporting this year’s national summer drink and drug driving campaign. Meanwhile our student special constables were put through their paces with officer safety training at police HQ.

On Monday a team of specials from York joined regular offices and police staff at ‘York Cares’ Big Community Challenge, helping to transform a local community centre to allow residents to garden, grow food and socialise together. The day was organised by North Yorkshire Police’s citizens in policing team as a way of giving something back to the communities who volunteer for us.

Poignantly, the 25th anniversary of the murder of Special Constable Glenn Goodman fell on 7 June – the final day of National Volunteers Week. Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes was joined by Glenn’s parents Brian and Margaret, area commander Superintendent Adam Thomson, and special constables old and new to remember Glenn at his police memorial in Tadcaster. Glenn was murdered in 1992 by Paul Magee who was jailed for life but later released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement.

Thursday saw special constables deployed alongside regular colleagues at polling stations across the county to ensure voting in the general election passed off safely.

The following weekend (10-11 June) saw special constables support three major events across the county – York Pride, the Great Knaresborough Bed Race and Skipton Gala.

 

Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes and Special Chief Inspector Neil Williams with some heroes and villains
Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes and Special Chief Inspector Neil Williams with some heroes and villains – courtesy of @DO2414NYP (Neil Williams)

The Great Knaresborough Bed Race is an annual event that is policed entirely by special constables. Without their support, the event would not have anywhere near the same level of policing. From the operational order to the deployments on the streets, the special constabulary do it all.

The visible police presence throughout the event ensures that disorder is kept to a minimum and any hint of antisocial behaviour can be responded to immediately before it escalates.

Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes, whose day job is as a Special Constabulary Coordinator for North Yorkshire Police, said: Once again we see our brilliant special constabulary give their all in support of their local communities, going beyond what is asked of them and providing massive support to their regular colleagues.

This year we saw a real outpouring of gratitude and love from members of the public who were very pleased to see us, providing a great opportunity for engagement which added to the fantastic atmosphere of the events. Our numbers are depleted after a lot of our specials were snapped up during a recent, regular recruitment campaign, so the pressure was really on our remaining officers and they did not disappoint. My thanks go to them all for their unstinting support, it is very much valued and appreciated.

 

Special Chief Inspector Neil Williams with Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly
Special Chief Inspector Neil Williams with Penelope Pitstop and Dick Dastardly – courtesy of @DO2414NYP (Neil Williams)

Special Constables, or “specials” as they are known, come from all walks of life and backgrounds and bring a diverse range of skills and life experiences to policing.

They have the same powers and uniform as regular police officers and are required to volunteer at least 16 hours per month to policing duties.

North Yorkshire Police will be recruiting special constables from 3 July 2017. For more information, visit northyorkshire.police.uk/specials

 

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