Bedfordshire Police takes pride in the wide range of opportunities it offers volunteers. More than 1000 volunteers are part of the police family in Bedfordshire, and there is a wide range of roles available for adults and young people to become involved with the force.
The opportunities start early, with children aged nine to 11 eligible to join Bedfordshire’s Junior Police Squad which introduces its members to policing and crime prevention. Young people aged 12 to 16 can become Hate Crime Ambassadors, who raise awareness of what hate crime is and how to report it. Teenagers aged 13-15 can apply to become Community Cohesion Champions, who learn about policing and help out at community events across the county. Then, for young people aged 15-18, there is the chance to join the Police Cadets programme, which aims to promote a practical understanding of police while inspiring young people to participate positively in their communities.
Bedfordshire Police is the first force in the country to offer internships to university students and continues to offer a 10-week programme designed to develop skills including critical thinking and analysis, leadership, problem solving and working together.
Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers support day-to-day policing in the county and their work has received both local and national recognition. Those who give their spare time to help keep Bedfordshire safe are rewarded with opportunities to develop their skills – and become involved in combatting some of the major issues facing the police service. For example, Police Support Volunteers are part of the force’s effort to tackle cybercrime, while Special Constables are working as CID investigators and have formed a specialist off-road motorcycle team.