14 February 2023
Last year the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) welcomed special constables to its 139,000-strong membership following a successful campaign.
Setting an example of how special constables can be further supported to counter the cost of living crisis, apart from several standard benefits afforded as part of the Federation’s membership, the Hampshire Police Federation has successfully worked with the constabulary to increase the Boot Allowance from £50 to £70.
Hampshire Police have 231 special constables serving shoulder to shoulder with regular officers.
Explaining how the Federation’s branch was able to address the very valid concerns of the special constables, Sergeant Garry Smith, Secretary of Hampshire Police Federation, said: “We have a sound relationship with the force’s special constables, and we regularly engage with them via different forums.
“Specials via their Operating Board, which is a group of senior leaders within the special constabulary, had been struggling to address the issue of insufficient Boot Allowance. However, they were unsure about the official channels of redressal. Recently I was invited to the board’s meeting as the Federation branch secretary and was made aware that the Boot Allowance of special constables is £50 and has remained unrevised for a considerable period of time. At prevailing costs, it was just not enough for them to get decent footwear.
“Now the Federation branch secretary has a seat on the force’s Uniform User Group. I used the position to raise the concerns of our special constables regarding insufficient Boot Allowance with the Finance Director. The matter was then taken up for discussion where I made a case for increasing the Boot Allowance backing my arguments with the Home Office’s guidance on the subject. It was well received by the group members, and it was resolved to increase the allowance to £70.”