Nottinghamshire Police has defended a recent appeal to attract ‘special constables’ after announcing a recruitment freeze on employing full-time officers.
The force recently announced that bringing in new officers was to be ‘put on hold for a year’ as they look to balance the books.
In the meantime, a request for cost-free volunteers to sign up as special constables has been issued.
The move has been defended by police and crime commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Paddy Tipping, who said; “The special constabulary has an invaluable role as part of our policing family, bringing additional resilience, diversity and a wide variety of different skills to help us keep Nottinghamshire communities safe.
“Like many forces, we are aiming to increase the number on board over the next two years, not to replace police officers but to enhance capacity to deliver local policing.
“Volunteers make a huge contribution in many different areas of our work and I’m grateful to them all.”
Specials are trained up like regular officers and have the same powers.
They are expected to work a minimum of four hours per week.
They often work on the frontline, patrolling the streets with Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
Many recruits become specials in the hope that it will eventually help them to become full-time officers.