On Wednesday 5th August Leicestershire Police launched a recruitment campaign to increase the amount of special officers across the county.
The #COULDYOU campaign is designed to encourage members of the public to make a valuable contribution in their community by joining the Special Constabulary.
Specials are volunteer police officers with the same powers as regular officers and typically spend around four hours a week, or more, working alongside and supporting regular officers to tackle crime in their communities.
Assistant Chief Constable, Phil Kay, said:
“We are fortunate to have some fantastic specials with a wide range of skills who contribute to keeping Leicestershire safe. They have a number of roles within the organisation from neighbourhood policing to patrol and resolution teams.
“The Special Constabulary has been around for decades and is a valuable resource in delivering and improving our service to the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.”
In line with the priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2013-2017, the Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Clive Loader set a target to reach 1,000 volunteers by March 2017; 400 of these to the Special Constabulary.
A promotional video has been launched to support the campaign, featuring six serving specials who offer their time for the benefit of their communities and the people who are part of it. It shows how they combine being in full-time employment or bringing up a family with being warranted officers, helping to protect the communities they serve while developing their personal and professional skills.
Special Sergeant John Blagden joined the specials over three years ago. He said:
“I get an enormous satisfaction out of being a special; helping in my community and developing my personal skills.”
A number of companies across the UK support their employees to become specials, including police staff in Leicestershire. Employer Supported Policing is an effective partnership between employers, their staff and the police service which helps to support specials in their duties to increase public safety and confidence by working proactively together.
Leicestershire Police hold regular information seminars which give people the opportunity to find out first-hand what it is like to be a special with advice from serving specials and the chance to be involved in role-plays.
For more information on the role of a special or to register for an information seminar, please visit: leics.police.uk/couldyou
Join in the conversation on social media by using #COULDYOU
Home Secretary Theresa May has praised Leicestershire Police for its “outstanding” work in creating a pioneering public feedback tool.
Called ‘Rate your Local Police’, the online system enables people to log-on to the internet and use their pc or mobile device to feedback on any interaction they’ve had with the Force based on a five star rating – similar to TripAdvisor.
There is also space for the public to provide additional comments and information.
Leicestershire Police is leading the way with this new tool and is the first in the country to develop and roll it out Force-wide. The system has been created to enhance public confidence in policing, help identify any areas for improvement and provide another way for people to get in touch.
It also allows the Force to easily respond to feedback.
Rate your Local Police has been designed specifically for leaving feedback and is not a forum for people to make formal complaints. These still have to be submitted via the website or in writing.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
“I am delighted that the Home Office has been able to work with Leicestershire Police on the development of ‘Rate your Local Police’.
This tool is a real step forward in terms of making police forces more transparent and accountable. Feedback tools support public engagement and help drive improvements in many walks of life. Rate your Local Police gives members of the public the opportunity to do the same with their local police.
Leicestershire have done outstanding work.
I hope other forces will take inspiration from them and implement similar tools to engage the public.”
Since the launch earlier in the month, more than 40 reviews have been submitted, many commending the work of the police.
Feedback that isn’t as positive will be used to make improvements.
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole said:
“We are really pleased with the number of responses we’ve received from members of the public so far. As expected, we’ve had a range of reviews. Many have praised the work of the police and individual people working for us and that is great to see. Where the feedback isn’t as positive, we will be taking the comments on board and looking at how improvements can be made.
“The system was designed for the public to be able to provide open and honest feedback to us and early indications show that this is exactly what is happening. We are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to give us feedback and I’d encourage more people to do the same.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Sir Clive Loader said he was delighted with the public response to the system. He said:
“The more we can find out what the public think of the service we provide, the better it is for everyone. Many of the comments have been hugely positive and that’s great to read. It’s very early days, but the initial response seems to reflect that we are consistently providing a high quality, responsive, supportive and proportionate response to the various demands placed upon officers, and that is to everyone’s credit.
“I’m delighted the government have praised the initiative and I have little doubt that, once again, Leicestershire will prove to be the front runner in introducing something new that other forces, in time, will also take up.”
The police in Blaby are inviting residents to take part in their next joint online webchat.
Officers will be available online on Thursday September 25, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm along with their colleagues from the Blaby Community Safety Partnership to discuss local issues and answer any questions you have.
On the panel will be Sergeant Nick Woodrow from Blaby local policing unit and Rachel Jagatia from the Feeling Safe programme, who will be happy to answer your questions on crime, crime prevention or safety.
Sgt Woodrow said;
“If you live or work in the Blaby, Narborough, Enderby, Whetstone, Glen Parva, Cosby, Braunstone Town, Glenfield, Leicester Forest East, Kirby Muxloe, Countesthorpe and surrounding villages, Thorpe Astley, Fosse Park or any of the Fosse villages you are welcome to join in.”
Blaby consultation events are held regularly online on the last Thursday of every month. For details of other upcoming and past online chats please visit www.leics.police.uk/blabywebchat.