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Special constables on beat by autumn?

By John Lavery

News (2911149)
News (2911149)

Two special constables could be seen on the beat in Uppingham this autumn if a new initiative proves successful.

Community partnership Uppingham First is working with Leicestershire Police to strengthen policing in the town.

They are collaborating to recruit two police special constables with the power of arrest to be based in Uppingham.

Commenting on the initiative, Ron Simpson, Business Forum chairman, Neighbourhood Forum coordinator and Neighbourhood Watch lead, said: “We are very happy with the police presence we have in Uppingham but volunteer police special constables can work different hours to paid officers and can help support not only the existing beat team, but also the town’s night time and weekend economy.

“These new posts will be an excellent opportunity for members of the community who are interested in a future career in the police service or simply wish to make a significant contribution to community safety and the prevention of crime in Uppingham.

“From our point of view we see it as the best of both worlds – somebody local that people will recognise and see about the town but with the power to arrest if necessary.”

Mr Simpson added: “We will be officially launching the campaign this summer. Every household in Uppingham will receive a newsletter in which we will be inviting people to put their names forward for consideration as special constables.

“We are lucky in Uppingham to have a good reputation for volunteering, so we are expecting people to come forward.

“We will be inviting the Chief Constable, or his deputy, to attend the Neighbourhood Forum annual general meeting in August to come and talk about the role and duties of a special constable.”

The annual general meeting is expected to take place in late August – date to be confirmed.

Anyone interested in becoming a special constable can contact Ron at rons@clara.net for more information.

l You have to be at least 18 years of age to apply to become a special constable - there is no upper age limit but you will need to be reasonably fit and in good health.

l Special constables are volunteers and do not receive any payment for performing the role.

l Special constables have full policing powers, unlike PCSOs or police volunteers.

l Initial training usually takes place at evenings and weekends over several weeks.

l Successful candidates can expect to undergo a 12-month probationary period.

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