Volunteering at this force
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 including 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 over 200 Cadets aged 14-17 enrolled across 9 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. The force has recently introduced the Mini-Police programme with over 25 schools taking part during the 18/19 academic year. We expect this to increase to around 60 schools in the 19/20 academic year.
Avon and Somerset’s Special Constabulary is made up of 300 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.
Around 250 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, we have over 800 Community SpeedWatch volunteers helping to police our roads, delivering nearly 3000 SpeedWatch sessions in 2018 across almost 500 approved locations. In 2018 they sent out 37,000 letters to drivers as a result of their observations.
The contribution made by the Constabulary’s volunteers is significant. On average, Special Constables record around 6000 hours per month, our Police Support Volunteers record around 1,250 hours per month and our Cadets give around 350 hours per month.
Under the leadership of Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen, Avon and Somerset’s team of dedicated coordinators have developed a strategy and plan to ensure that the work contributed by their volunteers helps the Constabulary achieve its organisational aims.