Police recruiting 120 new special officers in drive to increase street presence

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SUSSEX Police is recruiting 120 special officers as part of crime commissioner Katy Bourne’s drive to increase visibility on the county’s streets.

Mrs Bourne pledged to put more specials into the community when she was elected last year. It follows the creation of 80 new full time police officer roles and 32 new civilian investigators in recent weeks.

There are currently more than 380 people who spend a minimum of four hours a week as unpaid volunteer police officers serving the local community. Special constables have the same powers and much of the same training, as full-time officers. Officers can also train to undertake specialist roles in response and road policing. Training courses will start next year.

Police and crime commissioner Bourne, said: “I am delighted to be opening recruitment for 120 special constables as I am a huge advocate of the benefits of volunteering and of communities getting involved in keeping their local areas safe. These volunteer officers are a unique group of people who give their time for free to help keep Sussex safe, and they bring experience and diversity to the workforce.

“It was my election pledge to further increase and encourage volunteering in Sussex and increasing the number of special constables is a significant part of this. Greater police visibility is one of the things the public speak to me about the most. These officers will help to achieve the objectives within the Police & Crime Plan of building safer communities, increasing police visibility, improving public confidence and focusing positively on victims.”

Assistant chief constable Robin Merrett said: “These volunteers have the same powers and often face the same decisions as regular police officers. Working as a special constable gives members of the community the opportunity to get right into the heart of Sussex Police and ultimately the communities we serve so we are looking for people all across the county for this role.

“As the lead for volunteers and special constables in Sussex I’m extremely proud of all those who give up their time to work alongside our policing teams, together they have volunteered nearly 60,000 hours since the beginning of this year. Their commitment and enthusiasm is admirable.” To find out more and to apply for a special constable position visit www.sussexspecials.com