Volunteers week is a great opportunity to reflect on the vital work done by Special Constables.
They give up their free time to work alongside full-time police officers, performing the same service to the public and exposed to the same dangers - yet until now they have not enjoyed the same representation and protection that their colleagues, who are members of the Police Federation of England and Wales, enjoy.
Last year, I wrote about the pressing need for Special Constables to be represented by the Federation so that we can provide them with a platform for their voices can be heard at the highest levels. I’m delighted that, following discussions with the Home Secretary and other government officials to facilitate a change in law, Specials will be included as part of the Federation’s remit in the Police Protection Bill, expected this Autumn.
This inclusion will allow Specials to receive the same representation as full time police officers, and allows the vital work that they do to be officially recognised. I am delighted we will be able to give Special Constables the protection in the workplace that they so richly deserve.
This has been a priority for the Federation for quite some time - our National Chair, John Apter, was himself a Special Constable when he began his career - and it’s wonderful to finally have it come to fruition.
Time and again during the COVID-19 pandemic I have been impressed and humbled by the way in which Special Constables have stepped up and worked alongside their full-time colleagues to serve the public when they needed it the most.
I couldn’t be more proud of the work that Special Constables have been doing, and I looked forward to welcoming them fully into the Police Federation. It's not before time.