As part of National Specials Weekend, Cheshire Special Constabulary gave 1,110 hours of their spare time to help keep the communities of Cheshire safe.
The weekend took place on Saturday 6 June to Sunday 7 June with a national theme of ‘thank you’, chosen to recognise the hard work and dedication of Special Constables during the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 122 duties were undertaken by 88 of the specially trained volunteers who, during the weekend, arrested two people for drug offences, seized four vehicles and spoke to 157 drivers about excess speed.
Cheshire Special Constabulary Chief Officer Celvyn Jones said: “The duties which were undertaken by the Special Constabulary during the weekend provide just a snapshot of the fantastic work that the team have been doing day in day out.
“The hours that our fully warranted volunteers provide shows the high level of dedication Special Constables have to helping keep Cheshire safe especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Hours increased by 21% in May, equating to 6,190 hours, which is an outstanding level of commitment.
“I am immensely proud to lead a team of selfless and dedicated officers who are determined to help protect communities across the county.
“I would encourage anyone who is considering volunteering as a Special Constable to find out more about the role through the Cheshire Constabulary website.”
This year each force was able to pick its own area of focus so Cheshire Specials continued their work with Operation Business.
Operation Business is a force-wide campaign which aims to deter criminals from targeting empty schools and businesses across the county.
Along with this, the Special Constables also supported the NPCC National Speed Awareness Campaign, targeting 32 locations with speed enforcement and successfully issuing 31 Traffic Offence Reports for speeding.
Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: “During National Specials Weekend our specially trained volunteers have collectively dedicated hundreds of hours to help protect the residents of Cheshire.
“This weekend of action shows just how much value these volunteers bring to communities and provides us with an opportunity to celebrate these volunteers who give so much to the Constabulary.
“On behalf of us all at the force, I would like to say a grateful thanks to our Special Constables for their hard work, support and dedication.”
Throughout the weekend, the force’s social media accounts also highlighted several Specials who had stepped up during the coronavirus pandemic.
Special Constable Gareth Dudley, who volunteers at Chester Local Policing Unit, has dedicated 29 years to serving the public, he said: “I had always wanted to be a regular police officer since I was young as my dad was a Special Constable with North Wales Police for 25 years.
“I became a special on 31 December 1990 so this is my 29th year of service – I have served with Staffordshire Police, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Gloucestershire Constable, and have been with Cheshire Constabulary since 2006. On 31 December this year I will celebrate 30 years since I was first sworn in!”
Volunteering for the Rural Crime Team is Special Constable Dave Howells, he said: “I am passionate towards giving something back to our communities and ensuring they are as safe as they can be, my three beautiful children are at the forefront of my mind while doing this. My family are extremely supportive and are proud of what I do.”
Special Constable Ben Midwinter spends his spare time with the Roads and Crime Unit, he said: “I have more than eight years of service with Cheshire Special Constabulary, five of which were based at a Local Policing Unit.
“My family are proud of the work I do with the Specials and for what I have achieved during my time with the force. I couldn’t ask for a better support network of family and friends.”
Volunteering at Cheshire Constabulary’s Deployment Support Team, former mechanical project engineer Special Constable Megan Kidwell said: “Since a very young age, I have been passionate about helping people and keeping them safe. I have witnessed first-hand how crime can affect people’s lives and have experienced how fulfilling it is to be a Special Constable during that time.
“My colleagues at the force are incredible, it’s a pleasure working with people who share the same passion to protect and care for others as I do. We all share the same values which is respect, integrity and fairness.”
Special Constable Adam Davis volunteers for Crewe LPU, he said: “Being a Special Constable allows me to give back to the local community. The ability to be trained as a police officer and provide frontline support seemed like a fantastic opportunity for me to gain new skills by being exposed to a variety of complex and often challenging situations.”
Speaking after the weekend, Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “Our Special Constables selflessly sacrifice their spare time to help protect and serve the communities of Cheshire – their work has been more important than ever during the pandemic.
“This national weekend of celebration gives us an opportunity to not only focus on the work of our Specials but to also promote the opportunities available for members of the public to join our dedicated volunteers.
“The Special Constables offer a truly valuable service and I would like to thank them all for their commitment that they give to Cheshire Constabulary and the communities we work so hard to protect.”
For more information on how to sign up to become a member of the Special Constabulary, please visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/police-forces/cheshire-constabulary/areas/cheshire/careers/careers/special-constables/