Gwent Police Special Inspectors McLaughlin and Brown have very kindly shared their monthly blogs with the National CiP Website. Their blogs will be available and stored here after they have been posted onto the Gwent Police website.
Welcome to my first blog as the Special Inspector for the West of Gwent. My role is to co-ordinate and supervise the Special Constabulary in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen.
If you are not familiar with the work of the Special Constabulary, we are volunteer officers for Gwent Police. People often ask me what the difference is between a regular PC and a Special Constable. We are fully fledged Police Officers, with full powers of arrest. We wear the same uniform and have the same kit. The difference is that we are volunteers. We are fully integrated with the regular police teams right across Gwent, working on response teams, neighbourhood teams, and events. Why would anyone want to do that you ask!
People join the Specials for many reasons. Some join as they would like to join the Police Service full time, and being a Special means they get some real on the job experience. Others join because they want to contribute something positive to their communities. Some join to gain valuable skills that they can use in other areas of their lives.
Whatever the reason, it is a great privilege to serve as a Special Constable, and I have an excellent team of dedicated and professional officers, who are working hard in your community.
Policing is a job like no other, and one of the great values of Special Constables is the skills they bring to us from their regular jobs. On my team I have got IT professionals, managers, schools workers, police control room staff, students, legal professionals, and more. Each one of them is a real asset to Gwent Police, and they are greatly appreciated by their local stations.
Over the past few months we have been really active. As well as putting regular shifts in at their stations, the Specials have been assisting with warrants, traffic operations and engagement events, as well as boosting officer numbers on busy nights like Halloween and Bonfire night. In November the West Specials contributed over 670 hours to Gwent Police. They are hard workers! Here are just a few of them after the Cwmbran Christmas Light switch on:
The run up to Christmas is here, and the Specials will be out in force across Gwent to help make Christmas and New Year a safe and enjoyable time for all. We all as a community have a part to play in this, whether that means looking out for the vulnerable in our communities, raising some money for charity, volunteering, or simply offering to be the designated driver on a night out with friends. It’s up to all of us to make Gwent a safer place to live and work.
Over the next few months I will be introducing you to some of my officers, and giving you an insight into life as a Special Constable, as well as highlighting some of the good work that has been going on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and do keep up with us on twitter for a daily insight into what is happening. @gpspecials