25 July 2019
Proposals to allow special constables to become members of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) have been welcomed despite ongoing discussions about how this will be funded.
The idea of allowing special constables to be members of the PFEW has been under discussion for the past decade and was a motion passed at the PFEW Conference. The announcement from the Home Secretary came on the same day as the Police Covenant.
One of the primary stumbling blocks is the need for change in Government legislation that will be required to enable special constables to join the PFEW. Currently special constables are precluded from being members of the staff association.
The PFEW has been in regular discussion with the Home Office, Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO), the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) over this issue and John Apter, PFEW’s National Chair, believes the support and protection they can offer special constables is vital in a changing world of policing.
“I was a special constable, as were a number of Federation reps and colleagues within policing. Special constables are an important part of the police service, who put themselves in the same situations with the same risks as regular officers. They therefore deserve the same legal protection and support as regular officers and the PFEW is best placed to do that. We now need to forge ahead with this which we know will require a change in legislation.”