North Yorkshire Police volunteers give up more than 1,000 hours for community

Special constables supervised the Bed Race.
Special constables supervised the Bed Race.

Police volunteers who gave up a combined 1,168 hours of their own time met with "a real outpouring of gratitude and love" from the North Yorkshire public, an officer has said.

Eighty-six Special Constables covered the National Special Constabulary Weekend and three major events in York, Knaresborough and Skipton last week.

Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes, whose day job is as a Special Constabulary Coordinator for North Yorkshire Police, said: “Once again we see our brilliant special constabulary give their all in support of their local communities, going beyond what is asked of them and providing massive support to their regular colleagues.

"This year we saw a real outpouring of gratitude and love from members of the public who were very pleased to see us, providing a great opportunity for engagement which added to the fantastic atmosphere of the events. Our numbers are depleted after a lot of our specials were snapped up during a recent, regular recruitment campaign, so the pressure was really on our remaining officers and they did not disappoint. My thanks go to them all for their unstinting support, it is very much valued and appreciated.”

On June 1, specials took to the streets of York to support regular colleagues on high-visibility and antisocial behaviour patrols as well as supporting response officers with ongoing incidents into the early hours. Officers supported the national summer drink and drug driving campaign. Meanwhile, student special constables were put through their paces with officer safety training at police HQ.

On Monday a team of specials from York joined regular offices and police staff at ‘York Cares’ Big Community Challenge, helping to transform a local community centre to allow residents to garden, grow food and socialise together. The day was organised by North Yorkshire Police's citizens in policing team as a way of giving something back to the communities who volunteer for us.

Poignantly, the 25th anniversary of the murder of Special Constable Glenn Goodman fell on June 7 - the final day of National Volunteers Week.

Special Chief Officer Sharron Moverley-Holmes was joined by Mr Goodman's parents Brian and Margaret, area commander Superintendent Adam Thomson, and special constables other to rememberhim at his police memorial in Tadcaster. Glenn was killed in 1992 by Paul Magee, who was jailed for life but later released from prison under the Good Friday Agreement.

On Thursday, special constables deployed alongside regular colleagues at polling stations during the General Election.

The following weekend, special constables supported three major events across the county – York Pride, the Great Knaresborough Bed Race and Skipton Gala.

The Great Knaresborough Bed Race is an annual event that is policed entirely by special constables. Without their support, the event would not have anywhere near the same level of policing. From the operational order to the deployments on the streets, the special constabulary do it all. The visible police presence throughout the event ensures that disorder is kept to a minimum and any hint of antisocial behaviour can be responded to immediately before it escalates.

Special Constables, or "specials" as they are known, have the same powers and uniform as regular police officers and are required to volunteer at least 16 hours per month to policing duties.

North Yorkshire Police will be recruiting special constables from July 3. For more information, visit northyorkshire.police.uk/specials