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Friday 20 January 2017, 8:17 AM

Gloucestershire Constabulary is launching a major public recruitment campaign to increase the number of Special Constables.

The current 124 Special Constables are all volunteers who freely give up their spare time to keep people safe and, by doing so make a hugely significant and much valued contribution to the policing of our county.

Now the Constabulary want to substantially increase their numbers with the aim of reaching 300 Special Constables by 2019.

The force is already working to secure another 50 new regular recruits to join by March 2018. 

This will help us to reach the planned establishment of 1,075 full time equivalent officers.  However, the recruitment of many more Special Constables will give the entire force more capability and flexibility to deal with the demands faced - supporting full time colleagues.

Deputy Chief Constable Rod Hansen said: “Special Constables have been an integral part of the policing family for over 185 years and today's volunteer police officers are better trained and equipped, and involved in more varied work than ever before.

“They have the same lawful powers as full time officers and are governed by, and accountable to, the same police regulations, Code of Ethics, values and principles.

“These are of course the same values and principles that police staff members also adhere to. Because of this, and because they are already familiar with the police service, we would greatly welcome applications from police staff members to join the Special Constabulary.

“Many of the qualities we seek in our new Special Constables are those that police staff already have and demonstrate on a daily basis. Some may consider joining the Special Constabulary as a way to develop an increased understanding of the force; an opportunity to develop new skills; a different and more direct way to serve the public and contribute personally to front-line policing.

“In whatever capacity they serve Special Constables will play an increasingly important and integrated role within the organisation and form crucial links with our communities.

“Please help spread the word among your families and friends that we are looking for more volunteer police officers – we know there are many people who are huge supporters of the police and who want to make a positive contribution to the safety and well-being on their neighbourhood. They can do this and so much more in our Special.”

As a Special Constable you will be asked to give a minimum of 16 hours of your free time each month as a volunteer officer.

Due to the scale of the increase, the recruitment campaign officially launches on 23 January 2017 and will remain open for a few months after this. We have created a page on our website with full information about what it means to be a Special Constable and how to register your interest https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/campaigns/special-constabulary/

Before applying, we ask that those interested attend one of the Special Constabulary Information Evenings being held across the county this month. Full information on where and when these are being held and the online booking facility to reserve a place is available at the link below:

https://www.gloucestershire.police.uk/campaigns/special-constabulary/

Some of our Special Constables will be at the evening and will be able to answer questions people may have.