Specials do truly remarkable things for our county. Did you know they have been around even longer than the regular force?
They stand shoulder to shoulder with their regular police officer colleagues, but give their free time, without payment, to help keep us safe.
Last year, the Specials gave nearly 100,000 hours of voluntary policing to Kent – a staggering amount. As a gesture of appreciation and to say thank you, I found the funding to pay the police precept part of the council tax for Specials who’ve served for over two years. It’s a big investment and speaks volumes for how I think the people of Kent feel about these magnificent volunteers, and I’m pleased to say they’ll be able to claim it from 1st April.
Last year I also gave almost £250,000 to the Special Constabulary to help recruit and train more volunteers, and was one of the first Police and Crime Commissioners to make such an investment. I hope this shows that I really do recognise and value the unique contribution that Special Constables make by devoting their time to helping others in the community.
The men and women who volunteer to help police our communities usually have a day job, yet they find the time, for free, to help out and to keep everyone safe. I take my hat off to them. The Specials are ordinary people doing an extraordinary thing and that’s why I’ve invested heavily in the scheme.
If you have ever been interested in policing and have some time to spare, I’d urge you to apply to the Special Constabulary. I’d love to see more ‘mature’ members of our communities joining up – it’s never too late – I’m living proof.
Becoming a Special Constable really is one of the very best ways to give something back to your community – so come on everyone!
Ann Barnes, KPCC