The first week in June (1-7 June) marks National Volunteers’ Week and National Specials Weekend (1-2 June), an opportunity to celebrate those who give their time, skills and experience without payment and for the benefit of others.
Volunteers have played an important role in policing since special constables were introduced in the 1800s, and volunteers are now a valued part of the police family supporting all aspects of policing.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson who is an advocate for volunteering said: “Volunteering is a way in which people can be empowered to undertake activities which improve the communities we live in.
“Within a community there are a lot of skills, experience and knowledge, and along with a lot of goodwill, volunteering harnesses these qualities for the benefit of others.
“I am a firm believer that organisations should be using the strength of communities, breaking down barriers and opening the door to volunteers which is why I am ensuring there are opportunities for the public to become more involved in policing.
“Whether they are special constables, independent advisory group members, police support volunteers, Community Speed Watch, Neighbourhood Watch volunteers or independent custody visitors just to name a few, the contributions volunteers make across the Force, and our community impacts positively on the way we work, on staff and officers, and the communities we serve.
“Thank you to all those who find time to volunteer across our community, it is the greatest of gifts.
“I would like to express my sincere thanks to all those who volunteer through the OPCC and Wiltshire Police. Never underestimate the value of the time you give, you are improving our ethos, educating our communities, checking and testing our service and helping us to shape policing for the future.”
Assistant Chief Constable Gavin Williams, lead for Citizens in Policing at Wiltshire Police said: “I am proud to say that as an organisation volunteers are welcome. We feel privileged to have people who want to give their time and share their skills and knowledge with us.
“During the last few years we have seen changes to volunteering in policing. Our vision is for Volunteers to use their diverse range of skills to support us in the improving public confidence in the police service by providing the ‘Best Possible Service’, and in January we introduced our new Citizens in Policing Team to help achieve this. We are working hard to make sure our volunteers are integrated, supported, their objectives are achieved and they feel valued.
“This Volunteers’ Week I want to say thank you to all the volunteer who give their time to support Wiltshire Police. At a time when demands on policing are high you support us. Whether you walk the beat, help educate our communities, teach our cadets or through your work help keep our officers, staff and community safe we can never say thank you enough.
“The impact of the time you give is felt across the Force.
“I am very grateful for your hard work and commitment. You are very much part of our police family.”
We are always looking to welcome new volunteers to the Force and OPCC, and are currently recruiting for the Special Constabulary. You can find out more information about volunteering and how to apply by visiting the Volunteers and Specials Constables section of the Wiltshire Police website.