Today, Tuesday, May 19, is National Specials Day to thank and celebrate support from special constabularies all over the country during the COVID-19 crisis.

Dorset Special Constabulary have worked more than 5,800 hours to support frontline policing during the lockdown.
The county’s 126 Special Constables have been supporting regular officers to help make communities safe and secure. Since March 23, Dorset specials worked 5,837 hours – an increase of 42% from the same period in 2019.

Wiltshire Special Constabulary have contributed more than 10,500 hours to support the force’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, about 100 specials across more than 700 shifts volunteered more than 6,000 hours.

PCC Angus Macpherson said: “Specials play a key role in policing in Wiltshire. As volunteers, they add value to the force, as well as bringing extra skills and experience from other roles. On behalf of all our communities, here in Wiltshire and Swindon, I want to thank them for their service at this challenging time”.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “The response of our special constables has been nothing short of inspirational. Their commitment to their role has been first-class and I cannot thank them enough for their dedication.

Without the Specials, Dorset Police could not provide the extra service.

Special Constables give up their free time to help tackle crime in their local area by supporting regular officers out on patrol and engaging with the community. They have the same powers in law as regular police officers.

Some Special Constables in Dorset, who have been furloughed or made redundant from their day jobs, are volunteering more than 60 hours a month to support their full-time colleagues. They have been a vital resource as the Force continues to respond to incidents and crime, while some officers and staff are self-isolating. By volunteering additional hours, the individuals help to keep the frontline supported and running to its normally high standards.

Deputy Chief Officer Andy Turtle said: “I am immensely proud to be a part of Dorset Police’s Special Constabulary. It is brilliant to see so many colleagues volunteering more time to support their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “The Dorset Special Constabulary is integral to the delivery of service to the communities Dorset Police serve.

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police & Crime Commissioner, said: “Special Constables provide an important contribution to policing and the role they play, although sadly often overlooked, has proven essential throughout the COVID-19 crisis.”