Today marks the start of National Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June) concluding with National Specials Weekend, which we are supporting in Wiltshire – it is a timely opportunity to celebrate and thank those who give their time, skills and experience without charge and for the benefit of others.
Volunteers are a valued part of the police family, supporting all aspects of policing. Special constables were introduced in the 1800s and have since played an important role. All volunteer roles are vital, bringing a wealth of valuable skills and varied experience across our policing teams, creating closer and more effective relationships with our communities.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is a big advocate for volunteering. He said: “Demand in policing has been particularly high recently, there’s never been a better time to show our appreciation to those who give up their precious time to support us in providing a service to our community. They are hugely valued, just as much as our officers and staff.
“Some of our volunteer roles have had to be put on hold due to current restrictions, however many others have increased their hours over the last couple of months if their usual employment has altered or allowed for it. This is testament to their character and has undoubtedly not been an easy decision to put themselves at potentially a greater risk. Particularly during these unprecedented times, volunteering is a way in which people can make a difference and contribute positively to the communities we live in. At a time when people have needed our support the most, our volunteers have stepped up. And for that, the OPCC and Wiltshire Police are extremely grateful.
“Within a community there are a lot of skills, experience and knowledge, across a variety of walks of life within business and industry, volunteering harnesses these qualities for the benefit of others. We never underestimate the value of the time you give, you are improving our ethos, educating our communities, supporting our service and helping us to shape policing in the future and for the next generation.”
“Whether they are special constables, police support volunteers, independent advisory group members, Community Speed Watch, Neighbourhood Watch volunteers, police cadets or independent custody visitor just to name a few, the contributions volunteers make across the Force, and our community impacts positively on the way we work, on staff and officers, and the communities we serve.”
Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith, lead for Citizens in Policing at Wiltshire Police said: “We feel privileged to have people who want to give their most precious commodity, their time, to share their skills and knowledge. Volunteers give a richness and diversity to the Wiltshire policing family and all are giving something back to the public we serve and helping to keep them safe.
“Since the conception of the Citizen in Policing (CiP) Team in January of last year, our volunteer’s team has gone from strength to strength. Their roles are vital – they bring a wealth of valuable skills and experience across our policing teams, creating closer and more effective relationships with our county. Volunteers give up their free time to support in a variety of policing roles for a number of reasons and extend the capacity of our Force.
“This Volunteers’ Week I want to say thank you to all the volunteers who give their time to Wiltshire Police. At a time when demands on policing are particularly high and in challenging times you continue to support us. Whether you walk the beat, help educate our communities, teach our cadets or through your work help keep our officers, staff and community safe we recognise and appreciate all your hard work and celebrate all that you do.
“The impact of the time you give is felt across the Force and it is valued immensely. I am very grateful for your hard work and commitment. You are very much part of our police family.”
We are always looking to welcome new volunteers to the Force and OPCC. You can find out more information about volunteering and how to apply by visiting the Volunteers and Specials Constables section under Careers on the Wiltshire Police website at https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/Volunteers.