Avon and Somerset Police serves a diverse and wide reaching area, including Somerset and the county that used to be known as Avon. It is a mixture of rural and urban areas and includes the cities of Bristol and Bath.
The Constabulary is proudly served by over 1700 volunteers, working as Cadets, Police Support Volunteers and Special Constables. Together they assist regular officers and staff in providing a round the clock service to communities across the region.
Young people are an important part of the volunteering team with 270 Cadets aged 14-17 enrolled across 10 units, who all spend time learning about policing and supporting local neighbourhoods. The scheme is extremely popular with many of the units holding waiting lists for people keen to join.
Avon and Somerset’s Special Constabulary is made up of some 350 Special Constables, aligned to both uniformed teams and specialist units. They are led by a Special Chief Officer and have a rank structure including Special Superintendents, Special Chief Inspectors, Special Inspectors and Special Sergeants.
Almost 300 members of the public give up their time to work as Police Support Volunteers, undertaking a wide variety of support roles from Flood Road Closure volunteers to Viper Chaperones, who help identify suspects through video imagery. In addition, almost 800 Community SpeedWatch volunteers help to police the area’s roads, with around 1600 SpeedWatch sessions taking place in 2016.
The contribution made by the Constabulary’s volunteers is significant, with figures showing that in 2016, over 72,000 hours were recorded by Special Constables, over 7,000 by Cadets and nearly 10,000 by Police Support Volunteers.
Under the leadership of Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen, Avon and Somerset’s team of dedicated coordinators is developing a strategy to ensure that the work contributed by their volunteers helps the Constabulary achieve its organisational aims.