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Specials take control of Dorset Police for a weekend

Dorset Police are giving the Special Constabulary an opportunity to take over this weekend, as part of a national event.

Operation Puzzle is designed to allow members of the volunteer police service of Dorset to command and take control of frontline policing duties. Higher ranking special constables will also be mirroring the ranks of regular sergeants and inspectors as part of the national Special Constabulary Weekend, which runs from Saturday 5 April 2014 to Sunday 6 April 2014.

A total of 70 special constables are expected to take part in this exciting weekend, with officers assigned to a number of sections across the county. Safer Neighbourhood officers will remain on duty throughout the event.

The specials will deal with incidents over the weekend, supported by regular officers. Like their regular officer colleagues, they have the power to make arrests and have undergone specialist training before being posted on the frontline.

Special constables are active in many areas of policing including Safer Neighbourhood Teams, response units and in specialist roles.

Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary Debi Potter said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the Special Constabulary to showcase their abilities and enhance their skills.

“It never ceases to amaze me the amount of dedication and commitment special constables in Dorset show to the community and police service in their unpaid roles.”

There are 214 special constables serving with Dorset Police.

Superintendent Jared Parkin said: “Our special constabulary colleagues are a valued part of the team. Their drive, dedication and commitment is outstanding. Special constables and volunteers make a marked difference to Dorset Police throughout the year and this weekend will allow their police colleagues the opportunity to take other proactive measures and carry out other operations in our drive to target crime and ensure communities feel safer.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “The Special Constabulary is a vital resource to the police service and I am always humbled by their commitment and the fantastic job that they do. The initiative in Dorset this weekend shows their professionalism.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner I have always prioritised the recruitment of specials, not just to increase officer numbers and visibility in Dorset, but also to enhance the link between the police and the local communities that they serve. I am delighted that the work of the Special Constabulary is being recognised nationally in this way, underlining the valuable role that they play in keeping us all safe.”

In July, Dorset Police will be launching a very important recruitment drive to invite more special constables to join the Force.

If you would like to register your interest in this amazing opportunity and receive more information regarding the role of a special constable and the recruitment process, please visit our Special Constabulary pages on this site or email Volunteers-Recruitme@Dorset.pnn.Police.uk.

The Force also has a team of non-uniformed volunteers aged between 16 and 90 years. If you’re interested in a volunteer role with us, please phone 01305 226869 or e-mail vol@dorset.pnn.police.uk.

For more details of the weekend, follow @dorsetpolice on Twitter and look out for the #OpPuzzle hashtag.

Issued: 2 April 2014