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Dorset Police & PCC Celebrate Volunteers Week

Dorset Police have been celebrating this year’s Volunteers Week with their Showcase of Volunteering and plans are also in-place for the National Specials Weekend.

In support of the annual, UK-wide Volunteers Week from 1-7 June, Dorset Police have been recognising the valued dedication of their volunteers by hosting a Showcase of Volunteering event.

Held on 3 June 2015 at Kingston Maurward College in Stinsford, Dorchester, the packed day of activity highlighted the vital work Dorset Police volunteers conduct for the Force. The event also provided an opportunity for Dorset’s PCC Martyn Underhill and the Force to thank the hundreds of volunteers who give up their free time to support the local community.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset Police volunteers are a valued and integral part of the Force and they help to enhance and support the services we provide to the public.

“They are building stronger relationships with our communities and I am very grateful for their dedication and commitment in making Dorset a safer place.”

Chief Constable Debbie Simpson also spoke at the event; “Our volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary things in the community and over the last year we have seen some incredible achievements by people giving up their own time.

“As a Force we experience wide and diverse demand, with which our volunteers support us significantly in roles such as CCTV operators, Safe Bus volunteers, Home Watch Co-ordinators and running the community speed watch.

“In addition, the Special constabulary provide a highly visible presence in our communities and we currently have 224 deployed across the force. I am delighted that our Special Constabulary recruitment has opened again, giving the opportunity for those with the drive and dedication to support their community.

“I want to say thank you for everything that our volunteers do as they are a key part of making this county the safe place that it is.”

A marketplace was held where attendees could visit stalls set up by the numerous volunteer organisations that have partnership arrangements with Dorset Police. In addition, workshops about cybercrime, neighbourhood policing, Neighbourhood Justice Panels, and post and telephone scams took place to give guests an insight into how volunteers assist the Force in these areas of policing.

Many volunteers were invited to attend the event including Watch Members, Police Support Volunteers and Special Constables.

Community Speed Watch Administrator, Joanna Gardiner commented: “I have had a fantastic day today, discovering the broad range of volunteers which support Dorset Police as I had no idea there was so many different volunteering roles! It has been great to meet with other volunteers to share tips and experiences.”

In conclusion of Volunteers Week, 6-7 June is also National Specials Weekend 2015. During this weekend, Dorset Police are giving their Special Constabulary the opportunity to take over operational policing.

The initiative, dubbed Operation Puzzle, has successfully run in previous years and allows members of Dorset’s volunteer police service to command and take control of frontline policing duties. Higher-ranking special constables will also be mirroring the ranks of regular sergeants and inspectors during this exciting operation.

At least 5 police stations are expected to be operated by special constables on Saturday 6 June. The specials will deal with incidents, supported by regular officers. Like their regular officer colleagues, specials have the power to make arrests and have undergone specialist training before carrying out frontline duties.

For more information about becoming a volunteer and the latest volunteer vacancies, please follow this link

For more details of Volunteers Week and Op Puzzle, follow Dorset Police on Facebook  or @dorsetpolice on Twitter  and look out for the #volunteersweek and #OpPuzzle hashtags.

Issued: 3 June 2015

Special Constables at Volunteering Showcase