Dyfed-Powys is geographically the largest police area in England and Wales, covering 52% of the landmass of Wales and serving the four counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and Powys. The area is predominately rural and has a vibrant tourist industry which can see the population increase, with implications for crime and roads policing.
The geography and rural nature of the area is a significant challenge – and ensuring the force has a presence not just in the urban areas but out in the countryside is a priority. This is where Dyfed-Powys’ volunteer workforce comes in, helping maintain a visible presence in communities across the four counties.
The Dyfed-Powys volunteer workforce consists of 86 Specials, 60 Volunteer Police Cadets and 35 Police Support Volunteers. They support either frontline officers or support functions and perform a variety of roles. For example, Dyfed Powys has Police Support Volunteers who are Finger Print Assistants, Administration Assistants, Researchers, CCTV Operators, Police Chaplains – and even puppy walkers for the force’s Dog Section.
Dyfed-Powys constantly reviews its recruitment, retention and management of its volunteer workforce. The force wants to attract more volunteers from its rural communities. It also wants to develop more opportunities for volunteers to work in specialist roles through initiatives such as ‘Specials on Horseback’ which will see Special Constables patrolling on horses in rural areas.