South Wales Police is pleased to support a new campaign launched today (Friday 6 October) by all police forces in Wales and England to encourage more people to donate their time and expertise as unpaid volunteers to support local policing.
Titled ‘Step Up’, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the hundreds of volunteering roles available across England and Wales and profile the work of existing volunteers and the valuable contributions they’re making to policing.
It features an emotive 90 second video address from existing volunteers urging the public to show their support for the police by stepping up as a volunteer. Other videos feature volunteers talking about why they volunteer and what they love about their roles. A new ‘Citizens in Policing’ website has also been created to highlight the many different roles available and make it easier than ever for people to apply.
Volunteers are playing an increasingly important role alongside their uniformed colleagues within local policing. There are currently more than 38,000 people working in over 200 different volunteering roles across the 43 Forces. In 2016, it is estimated volunteers across England and Wales donated over five million hours, with constabularies in Staffordshire, Devon and Cornwall logging the most volunteer hours.
Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police Alun Michael who is also Association of Police & Crime Commissioners (APCC) lead for Citizens in Policing said:
“Volunteers work alongside officers and staff in almost all areas of our business, from operating speed cameras at the side of the road in their area to visiting our custody suites to assess the care we provide, and they help ensure the success of many local initiatives and larger, high profile events.
“Just this year volunteers have supported us at the UEFA champions league, the Eisteddfod and PRIDE Cymru to name just a few – helping us to engage with a wider spectrum of stakeholders and community members.
“South Wales Police currently has over 800 volunteers of all ages who selflessly contribute hundreds of hours to help make a positive difference within our local communities. I welcome the `Step Up’ campaign and support any opportunity to recognise these valuable individuals and to invite more citizens to policing.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan, South Wales Police Lead for volunteers said: “Since 1831, volunteers have taken many of the same risks as full-time police officers, for no reward other than the satisfaction of playing their part in keeping their communities safe from crime.
“Policing is too important to be left to the police alone; crime reduction and community safety is a shared responsibility for us all – it has to be a community wide effort, and our volunteers make a huge difference to people’s lives in the areas we live and work.
“We are pleased to support this campaign and welcome all members of our communities to apply to volunteer with us in all aspects of policing and community effort.”
Dave Jones, the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, who has recently taken on the National Police Chief’s Council portfolio for the Citizens in Policing programme said: “Policing our communities is something that takes the efforts of everyone – not just police officers. So, we’re hugely grateful to the thousands of people who donate their time and expertise to support local policing and help to better safeguard communities.
“However, it appears that there’s an awful lot of people who are simply unaware of the scale of opportunities that exist. Our ‘Step-Up’ campaign is about raising awareness of the exciting and numerous opportunities available, which range from cyber-related and hostage negotiation roles through to animal welfare and victim support posts. Our message is simple: With over 200 different roles, there’s something for everyone, regardless of your age, gender or skills set.”
Rod Winter, who volunteers as a Special Constable for North Yorkshire Police, features in the campaign and said: “I love being a volunteer. Although I have my day-to-day job, my role as a volunteer with the police gives me an opportunity to make a difference, help to save lives and keep our community safe. My message to anyone considering becoming a volunteer would be to just do it, you will not regret it.”
All volunteers who sign up are given extensive training in order to prepare them for the role they are fulfilling. For roles such as Special Constable, volunteers are given training over five months, working closely with colleagues in their local force before they start carrying out the role.