Leicestershire Police is joining the nation in celebrating the selfless and supportive contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering as part of National Volunteers Week (1-7 June).
More than 700 people volunteer for Leicestershire Police as special constables, volunteers, chaplains, cadets and cadet leaders and assist the force in providing the best service possible to the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “We’ve encountered the most unprecedented period in coping with a worldwide pandemic. The demands on policing have been both extraordinary and quite often unexpected, and we have had to adapt and respond.
“I am so very proud of how our volunteers have risen to this challenge. Their commitment has been invaluable in so many different ways and is very much appreciated, now and always.”
This year Leicestershire’s Special Constabulary has consistently stepped up to provide vital support to frontline officers. From 1 April 2020 to the 31 March 2021, the volunteer police officers collectively contributed 40,000 hours, which is the equivalent of having 19 additional full-time police officers.
Along with the force, the police support volunteers have diversified the way they work to support the new demands and challenges faced through COVID-19. From taking essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to police stations, to delivering prescriptions to members of the public who were shielding – their work has made a true difference.
The force’s chaplaincy has continued to provide a spiritual care service to officers and staff, and although chaplains have been unable to visit police stations in person, they’ve been readily available to chat over the phone or via email.
The last year saw Leicestershire Police’s cadet sessions turn virtual, which created a whole host of new challenges for the cadets and leaders who run the sessions. They’ve all adapted fantastically to the new way of working online and are excited to be planning some face-to-face sessions in the months ahead.
Superintendent Adam Slonecki, lead for Volunteers in Policing, added: “This year our volunteers, specials, chaplains, cadets and leaders have given more to their communities than ever before, and have achieved some really incredible things. They have well and truly demonstrated what they do best, by stepping up and providing resilience to the force and support to our communities when it’s been needed the most.
“I’m looking forward to thanking our volunteers in person and celebrating their exceptional efforts once the restrictions have eased. We are very grateful for each and every one of them.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Rupert Matthews, said: “I want to say thank you for everything that our volunteers do as they are a key part of making this county the safe place that it is.
“Leicestershire Police volunteers are a valued and integral part of the force and they help to enhance and support the services we provide to the public.
“They are building stronger relationships with our communities and I am very grateful for their dedication and commitment in making Leicestershire a safer place.”
This weekend (6-7 June) is also National Specials Weekend. The force will be covering a live shift on social media with Special Sergeants Bradley Atkins and Amy Pickering to give followers a taster of life as a special constable. The content will be available to view on the force’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.