Praise for our special constables

Norfolk’s special constables have been praised for the work they have been doing recently, giving more than 1000 hours of their time over the past week to provide vital support to communities.

A total of 65 special constables contributed 134 shifts and 1005 hours of deployment between Sunday, March 29, and Sunday, April 5, as part of Norfolk police’s effort to protect communities and manage the demands of covid-19. Additional specials also volunteered their time carrying out essential roles from police stations across Norfolk, including supporting vulnerable people.

Over the past week, they have been working alongside their regular police colleagues responding to ongoing incidents, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and, if necessary, enforcing the government’s measures restricting people’s movements.

Special Chief Officer Darren Taylor said: “Our officers are well trained, developed and supported as an integral element of the Norfolk police family. They are unpaid volunteers who are passionate about serving their communities, and I’ve been humbled by their response to the current situation. I’d like to extend my personal gratitude to each and every one of my team who has stepped forward to support and protect the NHS and save lives.

“Volunteering in any capacity requires a balance of family and work life, and none more so than now. Many of our special constables are in fulltime employment and like many other people are affected by furlough or reduced hours. It’s testament to their commitment that they are using this additional time for the benefit of others.

“I am also extremely grateful to a number of local employers who have allowed our officers flexibility, and in some cases paid leave, to enable them to provide a frontline role in policing. It will take a combined effort of all of us across the community, helping neighbours, caring for the vulnerable in any capacity to allow the key workers to focus on the priorities over the coming period.”

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Julie Wvendth, who is leading Norfolk Constabulary’s response to covid-19, said: “We’re very fortunate in Norfolk that so many talented and dedicated people who, without hesitation, have put themselves forward to help and support their communities and the county.  Special constables are valued members of our constabulary and are performing a crucial role in frontline policing, protecting the most vulnerable and managing the unprecedented demands of Covid-19. I thank them and their employers for their continued commitment and support, and I’m so grateful that we can count on them in these challenging times.”

Norfolk has a team of 200 special constables working different shift patterns in a phased approach to supporting frontline policing and the constabulary’s response to covid-19. They provide a range of skills, including supporting vulnerable people, logistics and planning, as well as working as operational officers deployed around the county. Special constables have the same powers as regular police officers but serve as volunteers.

For more information on the role of special constables, visit www.norfolk.police.uk/join-us/volunteers/police-specials. You can also follow them on Twitter @CODarrenTaylor @NorfolkSpecials

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