Inspector Julie Mead of Northamptonshire Police with horseback volunteer Hilda Miller and PCSO Natasha Fountain on Cody
We only have to switch on the television and watch the daily national and international news to see that King’s Sutton is one of the safest places in the world to live, relatively free of the fear of crime and criminal violence. Yet in last year’s Village Survey, nearly half of residents said the police presence in our community was inadequate. Moreover, just over 40% of respondents felt that the local force did not communicate effectively with us. Given that budgetary constraints make it impossible to maintain a permanent, full-time police presence in the village, it may just be that the recruitment of a Special Parish Constable could fill the perceived gap in our local police service.
Special Constables are unpaid warranted volunteers who provide essential community policing. In 2012, volunteers with Northamptonshire Police contributed a total of 42,000 hours’ work for their communities. By October 2014, the annual figure had risen to 87,000 hours. Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is keen to recruit 900 Special Constables by 2016 and is hoping that at least one of them will be a King’s Sutton resident. The Force is also recruiting volunteers on horseback (like Hilda Miller in our picture) to help tackle rural crime by patrolling the Northamptonshire countryside.
Special Constables can be any age so long as they are fit and active, can be of either sex, and should ideally live within the communities they serve. Northamptonshire Police needs people with good life skills and experience plus a strong community awareness – people who:
Specials must pass a fitness test in order to be considered for the role. They wear much the same uniform as regular officers and have the same powers and responsibilities. but village-based policing is concerned mostly with resolving local issues such as anti-social behaviour and driving offences. Specials receive excellent police training and are tutored on issues specifically applicable to their local community. All Specials are provided with uniform, a smartphone and a tablet. They are expected to put in at least four hours a week in the performance
of their duties.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a Special Constable with Northamptonshire Police, visit the website and register your interest.