Volunteer police to boost ‘bobbies on the beat’ numbers

Ron Ball
Ron Ball

VOLUNTEER special constables will be recruited in “significant numbers” across Warwickshire during the coming months.

The recruitment drive is part of the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball’s plan to encourage people to get to know their police teams better.

Now, two months into his role, the politically independent Mr Ball said that it has become apparent to him that providing ‘bobbies on the beat’ forms an important part of making officers visible to their community.

He said: “I would like to take on a significant number of specials. The numbers will be worked out in due course, but the public will notice the difference.

“The prime objective is to strengthen local policing so that people know who their local beat manager is and to introduce some stability into that system, but it will also help to strengthen police visibility.”

Saying that he is “confident” that he will be able to recruit the required numbers of special constables - who are not paid but wear uniform when on duty and have full police powers - Mr Ball said he thought the additional officer numbers would help the force to lower the county’s crime levels.

He added: “It’s part of the work we are doing on communicating and engaging with the public. I am holding a lot of consultations around the budget and the police and crime plan.

“I am also planning to have a discussion with the public about the areas that police cover that are almost not recognised, such as dealing with organised crime, terrorism and cyber crime. Although visible policing is important, it’s not the only type of policing that’s out there.”

Mr Ball also responded to recent comments from the Taxpayers’ Alliance on the force’s spending, given the constraints it is facing with the Government’s imposed 20 per cent cuts to policing across the country. He said: “The area on which they and I would almost certainly agree is that within the constraints, we need to maximise the amount of time officers spend visible in the community.

“For that reason I have commissioned a review of bureaucracy and duplicated effort in Warwickshire Police and we are in the process of finalising a workforce plan to recruit the special constables.”

To contact Mr Ball, call 412322 or email opcc@warwickshire.gov.uk and to find out more about his role, visit www.warwickshire-pcc.gov.uk/