Leicestershire’s special constables have contributed a total of more than 2,000 hours to support frontline policing since they were asked to step up during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 136 special constables have completed 2,846 hours of deployment and responded to 398 incidents between Friday 27 March and Monday 13 April, as part of Leicestershire Police’s management of the impact of Covid-19.
Under Operation Formidable, special constables have been working with regular colleagues to respond to emergency calls, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing the government’s guidelines on social distancing.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “The commitment from our Special Constabulary over the last three weeks has been phenomenal.
“We are lucky to have so many individuals in our extended policing family who are willing and able to step forward as front line officers, helping us to protect the public at this time of need. Each and every one of them is delivering an outstanding operational effort which is making a huge difference to our policing capabilities.
“I must also acknowledge the brilliant support of the employers who have released their staff to concentrate on their policing duties. Thanks to you there are 136 extra officers out on the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
“Finally I’d like to thank the families of our serving specials. Thank you for supporting your loved one to join us on the front line, I hope you feel as proud of them as we do.”
Special constables are volunteer police officers who hold the same powers and responsibilities as full-time police officers and manage the role alongside their normal employment.
Special Sergeant Bradley Atkins is among those stepping up to support frontline officers. His employer, Lloyds Bank, has supported him to work two shifts per week as an officer. “I’m so pleased to be able to serve the public at this time” he says. “It’s really rewarding to be able to put my uniform on, get out in the community and help to protect people. Lloyds have been hugely supportive towards me and I hope that I can use this time to really make a difference.”
All 136 of the special constables working on Operation Formidable have pledged to work a minimum of two shifts per week, helping to manage the impact of Covid-19 in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Police Sergeant Fabrizio Smargiassi has experienced first-hand the positive impact of having more special constables on duty. He said: “The officers who are deploying as part of Op Formidable have given us valuable extra assistance in light of the significant increase in demand during recent weeks. There was one evening in particular over the Easter period with exceptionally high demand, and the special constables were a real asset to the force.
“Throughout the operation they have done a brilliant job enhancing the reputation of the Special Constabulary and demonstrating just how valuable they are to Leicestershire Police.”