Blaby’s team of volunteers have today (Thursday June 16) been awarded the Police Support Volunteers Team Award at the National Policing Improvement Agency’s annual Special Constable and Police Support Volunteer Awards ceremony in Westminster.
The awards recognise the wide range of skills that volunteers bring to policing in England and Wales. This is the third year in a row that a team of Leicestershire Constabulary volunteers have won this national award, the second time for Blaby who won in 2009 and a team from Wigston who won last year.
The Blaby team won this year for their Safe, Secure and Comfortable Project. This project, aimed at the most vulnerable people in our communities, involved volunteers carrying out a ‘one-hit’ visit to the individuals address to give a comprehensive home safety assessment. This meant the team of volunteers undertook training in benefits, fire safety checks and home heating grants.
The volunteers have brought together the police, fire and rescue services and district council to help tackle local crime, increase safety and improve the welfare of the local community. The project has already saved the organisations involved £22,000 and helped to reduce local burglaries by 19%.
The Blaby volunteers are an extremely valued team of people who are fully integrated into the Blaby Local Policing Unit. They carry out a range of tasks from undertaking home safety checks for vulnerable victims to providing assistance to local beat officers with neighbourhood projects.
Inspector Jon Brown, Blaby Local Policing Unit Commander said:
“The Blaby Police Volunteers give the Local Policing Unit the ability to do that extra ‘something’ that can mean so much to victims and can be of real benefit to officers and the communities they serve.”
Representatives of the team received their awards from Damian Green, Minister for Immigration. He said:
“Special constables and police support volunteers are an excellent example of the Big Society in action showing how individuals can help tackle crime in their local community. I urge more people to consider using their skills and experience to volunteer in support of their local police force.”
National Policing Improvement Agency Chief Executive Officer Nick Gargan, said:
“These awards are an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to the achievements of the thousands of community-minded volunteers across England and Wales who help the police in many important ways every day.”
“Volunteers have always played a key role in policing and it is extremely encouraging that the numbers of specials and volunteers are increasing. They form a crucial link between forces and the local communities they serve. The NPIA remains determined to help forces develop their use of volunteers further, attracting and retaining high quality individuals so they can continue to give a first-class service to their colleagues and the public.”