A new campaign is being launched today (Friday 6 October) by the police to encourage more people to donate their time and expertise as unpaid volunteers to support policing across England and Wales.
Titled ‘Step Up’, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the hundreds of volunteering roles available across England and Wales and profile the work of existing volunteers and the valuable contributions they’re making to policing.
It features an emotive 90 second video address from existing volunteers urging the public to show their support for the police by stepping up as a volunteer. Other videos feature volunteers talking about why they volunteer and what they love about their roles. A new ‘Citizens in Policing’ website has also been created to highlight the many different roles available and make it easier than ever for people to apply.
Volunteers are playing an increasingly important role alongside their uniformed colleagues within local policing. There are currently more than 38,000 people working in over 200 different volunteering roles across the 43 Forces. In 2016, it is estimated volunteers across England and Wales donated over five million hours, with constabularies in Staffordshire, Devon and Cornwall logging the most volunteer hours.
Dave Jones, the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, who has the National Police Chief’s Council portfolio for the Citizens in Policing programme said: “Policing our communities is something that takes the efforts of everyone – not just police officers. So, we’re hugely grateful to the thousands of people who donate their time and expertise to support local policing and help to better safeguard communities.
“However, it appears that there’s an awful lot of people who are simply unaware of the scale of opportunities that exist. Our ‘Step-Up’ campaign is about raising awareness of the exciting and numerous opportunities available, which range from cyber-related and hostage negotiation roles through to animal welfare and victim support posts. Our message is simple: With over 200 different roles, there’s something for everyone, regardless of your age, gender or skills set.”
Rod Winter, who volunteers as a Special Constable for North Yorkshire Police, features in the campaign and said: “I love being a volunteer. Although I have my day-to-day job, my role as a volunteer with the police gives me an opportunity to make a difference, help to save lives and keep our community safe. My message to anyone considering becoming a volunteer would be to just do it, you will not regret it.”
All volunteers who sign up are given extensive training in order to prepare them for the role they are fulfilling. For roles such as Special Constable, volunteers are given training over five months, working closely with colleagues in their local force before they start carrying out the role.
 IPSCJ Summit 21 July 2016