Leicestershire Specials are out in force for National Specials Weekend
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National Specials Weekend, which starts Friday 31 May to Sunday 2 June, forms part of the wider ‘National Volunteers Week’ which runs from 1-7 June every year.
Across the weekend the Leicestershire Specials will be out showcasing the variety of duties they work including roads policing, knife crime operations, community events and an intelligence led crackdown on drink driving.
The aim of the national event this year is to highlight the role employers can play in supporting their employees to become specials, allowing them time off from work to make a contribution to keeping their communities safe under the Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “National Specials Weekend is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the diverse and invaluable work of our Special Constabulary. We are incredibly proud of the outstanding contribution our specials make to the force every day and the commitment they have to protecting our communities. We are also grateful to the employers across the county who support Employer Supported Policing and allow their employees time to contribute to the vital work we do.”
Leicestershire Police currently has 280 specials, who in the last year volunteered an impressive 60,649 hours to the force. In the last year specials were the first responders to 1,126 emergency and priority incidents across Leicestershire.
This weekend will see a number of specials led operations, including several roads policing initiatives run by the Safer Roads Team (SRT). The SRT are a group of specially trained officers who work closely with the force’s Roads Policing Unit (RPU). The team has had tremendous success in dealing with issues reported by members of the public including speeding, drink driving and the use of mobile phones.
Special Inspector Jonathan Mansfield helps to lead the team. He said: “This initiative has been quite different from ways in which we’ve utilised specials skills before, and the creation of specialist units can provide expert support to the force, as evidenced with the SRT.
“We have several multilingual specials who have attachments to specialist units such as the economic crime unit or the immigration unit. They use their expertise in language to help with communication analysis within cases, and in return they gain investigative methods and policing skills.
“Specials can bring an incredible breadth of existing knowledge and skills with them from their paid employment or previous experiences, and I look forward to the continued development in this area.”
Officers will also be out in force to support the night-time policing of Leicester’s City Centre and the Riverside Festival on Saturday and Sunday. Other officers will be undertaking training to use the force’s new mobile IT systems, extending their capabilities to police independently.