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Local Police Volunteer scheme extended across the county

PUBLISHED: 15:39 02 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 05 February 2019

The Local Policing Volunteers scheme is now approaching its first anniversary. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The Local Policing Volunteers scheme is now approaching its first anniversary. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

Suffolk police chiefs have praised the work of their local policing volunteers as the scheme approaches its first anniversary.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner described the scheme as exciting  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNTim Passmore, Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner described the scheme as exciting Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Six towns and villages were selected to take part in the initial trial for the scheme last year: Bungay, Beccles, Eye, Stanton, Long Melford and Woodbridge.

Each of these areas was expected to take on four volunteers who would be given special tabards and training.

The volunteers work up to 20 hours a week and have access to police stations where they can report crimes but not directly engage with criminals and are not employed by the police force.

All volunteers are vetted before taking part in the scheme.

Karen Harris, the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteer & Police Volunteer Cadets Manager, Suffolk Constabulary Picture: KAREN WILLIEKaren Harris, the Special Constabulary, Police Support Volunteer & Police Volunteer Cadets Manager, Suffolk Constabulary Picture: KAREN WILLIE

At the time of the scheme’s launch Mr Passmore said that money for the project would be coming from existing training budgets but that new funding may need to be found if the project expanded.

Mr Passmore confirmed that the project had since expanded across the county.

Currently 13 people are involved in the scheme.

“This is a very exciting scheme. I’m very pleased that it has been extended across the county and would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.

“I fully support this volunteer scheme. I made a commitment in my Police and Crime plan to expand the network of volunteers throughout the county and I am pleased to see this work is on-going.

“It’s going back to what traditional policing was all about - the police are the public and the public are the police.

“It’s very much a two way process.”

Karen Harris, Specials, Volunteers and Cadets, Manager, said: “Volunteers act as our “eyes and ears” and work with their local policing teams to report anything suspicious or usual that they have noticed within their communities.

“Volunteers are an integral and valued part of our organisation and the scheme provides an opportunity for those with a range of skills and experiences, the chance to contribute to keeping Suffolk communities safe.

“The Local Policing Volunteers scheme continues to grow and so far, 13 dedicated volunteers are working in various areas across the county.”

“Anyone interested in applying for a volunteering role with the constabulary can find out more on our website.”

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