This year’s National Specials Weekend (NSW) will take place over the weekend of 1-3 June. I strongly encourage all forces to take this opportunity, as part of National Volunteers Week, to highlight the dedicated efforts of members of their respective Special Constabularies.
The National Specials Weekend (NSW) is a policing-specific event, first held in 2003, that takes place on an annual basis.
Over one particular weekend forces are invited to undertake activities that make visible and concerted use of the skills of their Special Constabulary officers. This assists in more widely drawing the attention of the public to the significant contribution that our volunteer officers make to policing. Of course, this promotion is helpful in respect of visibility and public confidence, but may also be useful if promoting recruitment efforts in respect of the Special Constabulary.
The date of the NSW historically changed each year, but it is now embedded as a key part of National Volunteers Week, which is held between 1-7 June each year.
Previously a specific national theme was chosen each year. However, it was subsequently agreed to longer use set themes, in favour of allowing forces to develop their own events, based upon identified local issues and policing needs.
Participation in NSW is not mandatory. However, all forces are encouraged to take part, undertaking particular initiatives and operations as part of the event, maximising the impact by promoting through local media and social media.
Forces are also invited to share outcomes of their operations and initiatives, at both a regional and national level. This can best be achieved through the newly established regional Chief Officer leads for Citizens in Policing. The NSW may also provide potential opportunities to engage in cross-border working within policing regions. Sharing outcomes allows forces to increase their knowledge base of good practice examples and serves as a means to highlight successful operations and help promote the Special Constabulary as a professional organisation.
A specific hashtag has been created to improve ease of access when sharing details of NSW activities on social media. Forces are encouraged to use #specialsweekend18 when reporting on activity.