West Yorkshire Police have today announced a major recruitment drive to increase the number of Special Constables serving the county to 1,500 by May 2016.
Forming part of the upcoming National Specials Weekend, a series of recruitment events are taking place across the county later this week and over the weekend.
A new section of the West Yorkshire Police website has also been launched which includes videos of our Specials in action, a ‘myth buster’ to dispel some of the common misconceptions associated with the role, as well as an online application form.
West Yorkshire Police currently has 420 Special Constables who each volunteer a minimum of 16 hours of their time each month. Special Constables have the same powers and responsibility as full-time police officers but do not receive a salary. Any expenses incurred carrying out the role are covered so any volunteers are not left out of pocket.
All the recruitment events can be found at westyorkshire.police.uk/bespecial or via westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.
Special Constables come from a variety of backgrounds and West Yorkshire Police are particularly keen to receive applications from underrepresented groups within the police service. This includes those from a BME, LGBT, white, or any form of ethnic minority group background.
Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, said: “Special Constables have a vital role to play within policing and it is essential we continue recruiting valuable members of the community who go on to develop into outstanding officers or who just want to make a difference within the community. The budget I recently approved included an amount set aside to ensure there will be proper support and training for those who apply.
“I have pledged to involve communities through volunteering opportunities and this recruitment campaign for Special Constables is an ideal opportunity for people from all walks of life and backgrounds to get involved. It’s also really important for employers to recognise the wider benefits of allowing their employees to contribute to community safety and the well-being of a local area. I am keen to explore with them what other skills and specialisms could be used in innovative ways to get the best out of individuals who are interested in signing up.
“West Yorkshire Police needs to be representative of the people we serve and I will personally be out in communities encouraging people to become Specials which can lead to other opportunities within the police service and elsewhere”
Mark Gilmore, Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, said: “Special Constables play a vital role in helping to keep our communities safe. Through preventing and investigating crime, tackling anti-social behaviour and reducing disorder, Specials provide a much appreciated active presence in all areas.
“As a Special you will develop personally and professionally, learning skills which may help you in your current line of work or to gain employment. You may also decide that you would like to pursue a full time career in the police service.
“We are proud of the work that we do with the diverse communities of West Yorkshire. As a Special Constable you will be working for the benefit of the many communities we serve. That is why we are keen to recruit people from all walks of life and a range of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds because we know you better understand the real issues and concerns facing those who live and work in your neighbourhood.
“If you would like to become a Special Constable, to serve the public, learn new skills and challenge yourself, then we would like to hear from you.”