South Yorkshire offers a range of opportunities for people of all ages to volunteer to help keep their community safe.
The Special Constabulary gives volunteers the chance to learn about policing on the frontline and gain new skills while working alongside regular police officers in local communities.
In addition, the force has teams of Volunteer Police Cadets, Police Support Volunteers and Community Safety Volunteers.
Young people aged 15-17 can join the Volunteer Police Cadets. Recruitment takes place annually, with new Cadets starting in September. The Cadets attend weekly meetings where they learn about the police service, take part in activities and get involved in community events. In their second year, they become Senior Cadets and spend more time working with the Special Constabulary which includes attending parades and larger community events. The intake of Cadets is around 75 each year and those that join have the option of continuing until the age of 18.
Police Support Volunteers provide support in a wide range of areas. Their roles include checking equipment in police vehicles, working with the area’s Safer Roads Partnership to educate people about road safety and Cadet and Senior Cadet leaders. They act as puppy walkers and watchers as part of a scheme which looks to find the police dogs of tomorrow, and support the police with IT training. Volunteers also help run the Lifewise Safety Centre in Rotherham. Lifewise is an interactive learning centre for local communities, aiming to educate visitors about safety and citizenship to help reduce crime and improve quality of life.
Community Safety Volunteers are recruited specifically to provide crime prevention advice. However, the role is being expanded to involve CCTV work, house-to-house enquiries and the force’s Vulnerable Vehicle scheme, which sees car owners warned if their cars are vulnerable to crime.