A volunteer policing initiative that will see 19 pilot projects delivered across 24 police forces has launched, thanks to funding from the Police Transformation Fund.
The initiative is part of the National Citizens in Policing programme, a group of over 500,000 volunteers who support the police. The projects will include testing a digital platform for recruitment and communication with volunteers in communities, utilising Special Constables to run joint response vehicles with paramedics, involving Special Constables in counter-terrorism activities and working with employers to encourage new ways of freeing up staff to volunteer in policing.
The Police Transformation Fund is intended to transform policing by investing in digitalisation, a diverse and flexible workforce and new capabilities to respond to changing crimes and threats.
A total of 64 expressions of interest were received from 32 forces with the 19 projects being shortlisted through a Dragon’s Den approach. The aim is for pilot projects to be rolled out across other forces.
The National Citizens in Policing Lead, Chief Constable Dave Jones of North Yorkshire Police, runs a strategic group to increase the scope, scale and impact of volunteering in policing. The group is working with the Institute for Public Safety, Crime and Justice (IPSCJ) to manage and evaluate the programme of pilots. The IPSCJ has developed project plans across the 19 initiatives, which have all now started work and will run until March 2019.
Talking about the project, Chief Constable Jones said: “Volunteers play a crucial role in policing by undertaking various roles and helping forces maintain connections with the communities they serve. This funding will assist with projects that aim to improve our Citizens in Policing programme and develop a more diverse workforce and new ways of working in response to changing crimes and threats.”
North Yorkshire Police and the Police and Crime Commissioner of North Yorkshire has secured £545,000 of funding from the Home Office Transformation Fund to test new ways of recruiting, training, deploying and managing voluntary roles in policing in England and Wales.
Delivery of the proposal will work by partnering with other forces and drawing on expertise from within and beyond the policing sector (including blue-light services and other local partners), to deliver a step-change in practice across police volunteering.
The pilot programme follows the launch of Step Up in October, a campaign to raise awareness of the hundreds of volunteering roles available across England and Wales.
List of all forces who have received funding for pilot projects:
National Volunteer Police Cadets, Durham, Merseyside, City of London, West Yorkshire, Metropolitan Police, Avon and Somerset, Northumbria, North West (all five forces), Cheshire, North Yorkshire, South-East (all five forces) Hertfordshire, Devon and Cornwall, Gwent Wales (all four forces), Essex