Police Federation

International Volunteer Day

National Chair Steve Hartshorn praises volunteers on International Volunteer Day for their dedication beyond duty as they play a major role in police forces across England and Wales.

5 December 2023


On this International Volunteers Day, observed every year on 5 December, I express my gratitude to the numerous individuals who generously dedicate their time as special constables, police cadets, chaplains, and support volunteers. Their unwavering commitment throughout the year is invaluable, and this day serves as an occasion to acknowledge their significant impact on policing in their communities.

Our volunteers, particularly special constables, possess the same powers as full-time police officers, bravely facing risks and dangers while supporting the constabulary. With a rich service history, they contribute significantly to our society, earning appreciation from both the public and the police service. Their vital role in promoting community safety and preventing crime is crucial to our mission.

Special constables, often juggling other professions, bring invaluable skills to the police force. In the year ending March 31, 2023, 6,841 special constables in England and Wales volunteered an astonishing 1,932,895 hours. Recognizing the diverse skill sets they offer, we appreciate the role they play in preventing and investigating crime, reducing disorder, and enhancing overall policing.

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) representatives have commendably supported specials through misconduct proceedings and Post Incident Procedure processes, ensuring equal representation, funding, and support. It's essential to inform that relying solely on the Home Office-funded Arc legal assistance may not cover legal advice during a PIP process.

We aim to strengthen our ties with our special constable membership, with 42 of 43 branches funding Police Federation membership as of 1 September 2023. Collaborating with forces and introducing special constables as Federation representatives is an ongoing effort. As of February this year, over 2,400 special constables have joined the PFEW, and we encourage more to do so, recognizing the importance of providing them with the same support and protection as their full-time colleagues.

Additionally, special constables have access to incentives such as boot allowances, travel compensation, and earnings compensation for court appearances. All uniforms, including essential on-duty support items like body-worn video cameras, are provided free of charge.

To those contemplating a special constable role or any voluntary position in policing, we extend our support and encouragement. The rewards and experiences are unparalleled, and relevant training is available, making this opportunity a stepping stone for those interested in a permanent position within the police.

If you are a special constable and would like to learn more about membership of the Police Federation of England and Wales visit here.

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