Special Constables lend their support to the summer policing response during Super Saturday weekend
As hairdressers, restaurants and pubs opened their doors last weekend, 91 special constables gave up their free time to help police the easing of lockdown across Devon and Cornwall.
Special Constabulary officers joined regular officers on the frontline to ensure residents and visitors remained safe as they enjoyed new freedoms.
Specials across the two counties worked a total of 1,065 hours, including conducting high-visibility patrols and assisting the roads policing unit as it dealt with an increase in visitors travelling to the area.
Chief Superintendent Matt Lawler paid tribute to the officers’ “resilience and professionalism” during the pandemic as they sacrificed leisure time to help with recent disorder in Exmouth and across the so-called Super Saturday weekend of Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July.
He said: “I want to pass on our thanks to each Special Constable who gave up their weekend with their own families and friends to help ensure the safety of local communities and visitors to Devon and Cornwall.
“Re-opening of the tourism and hospitality industry last weekend, combined with an influx of visitors, meant their support to our teams was invaluable.”
In the period April 2019 to May 2020, the Force’s 266 attested Special Constables have contributed 76,779 hours, helping tackle crime in their local area, supporting regular officers by going out on patrol and engaging with our communities.
In addition, Devon & Cornwall’s contingent of 360 police support volunteers cover 17 different roles and during the same period they have given up 24,063 hours of their time.
Volunteers support the Force in a broad variety of capacities, ranging from chaplains, vehicle checkers and local policing support to diverse communities support volunteers.
Chief Supt Lawler added: “Since lockdown commenced in March, we have been faced with unique policing challenges and the Special Constabulary have helped respond to this.
“It has been a huge privilege to work with these individuals who regularly give up their free time.
“For example, when we had huge numbers of people at Exmouth beach a couple of weeks ago, Special Constables at the scene helped the local policing team to manage the disorder with resilience and professionalism.
“With anticipated increased demand on our services this summer, we really do appreciate the number of Special Constables who have volunteered to work during July and August.
“I would also like to thank their employers, whose flexibility and understanding helps make this important contribution possible.”
Special Constabulary Chief Officer Marc Kastner said: “Since the pandemic began, our Special Constables have made an outstanding contribution to help keep Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly safe, without any thought of personal recognition. I want to pass on my sincere thanks to each of them.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “The contribution made by Special Constables and other police volunteers in our force area at this time of national crisis has been truly exceptional.
“While many of our residents and visitors were enjoying the relaxation in lockdown rules by visiting a pub or restaurant our Specials were pulling on a uniform and helping to keep others safe.
“Police volunteers are an essential part of a mix that has maintained our force area as one of the safest places in the country in recent years. Because they have other jobs and roles in society, and come from all walks of life, these selfless individuals enrich the force and improve the connectivity with communities that is such a part of the policing model in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.”
If you are interested in volunteering please visit the Force website at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk.
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