The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, has stated his support for volunteer police officers following a successful Specials-led road safety operation in Dacorum.
Special Constables based in the borough and the Joint Protective Services Police Intercept Team were out in force on Saturday, August 1st to conduct Operation Chariot - a road safety initiative to keep roads in Hemel Hempstead safe.
Alongside officers from the UK Border Agency, 15 Special Constables and two members of police staff monitored Maylands Avenue. This was the first of many operations of its type which will now be held regularly in collaboration between police in Dacorum and the Police Interceptors of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire – officers who utilise ANPR (Automatic Number-Plate Recognition) technology. This technology provides valuable European-wide crime intelligence information and can identify if a car is stolen, whether the vehicles have valid insurance, tax and MOTs, or if they are displaying illegal or stolen number plates.
During the operation hundreds of vehicles were scanned and a total of 50 drivers were stopped for a variety of offences including: not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving and having no road tax. Two vehicles were also seized for having no insurance. Each driver who had committed an offence had their eye sight tested, were breathlysed and were given a Traffic Offence Report (TOR)* which can involve a fine, points on drivers’ licences or in some cases driver education courses are offered.
Special Constable Andrew Lobel, one of the force’s volunteer police officers who led the Special Constabulary Intercept Team, said: "The biggest in-car cause of fatalities is motorists texting, tweeting and taking calls, and our efforts will continue to go some way to helping to educate motorists about the real risks of using their phone or not wearing a seat belt.
“We want everyone who uses the roads to be safe and legal and we intend to hold five further similar operations in the vicinity and keep up random checks such as this to ensure Dacorum’s roads are as safe as possible and that we deal appropriately with any motorists who flout road safety rules.”
All of the Police and Police Staff who attended the operation were volunteers who gave up their spare time to volunteer as Special Constables or Police Civilian Volunteers.
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd, said: “Our Special Constables continue to make a valuable contribution to keeping the county’s roads safe – something which is of great importance to me. The free time our Specials give up is invaluable and I hope their dedication will inspire others to also get involved in voluntary work such as this, which makes a tangible difference to the community.”
Recruitment of Special Constables
The force is looking to recruit new Special Constables and Rural Special Constables to join the team already keeping Hertfordshire even safer, and is keen to recruit from all areas across the county.
All Special Constables have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside the regular force. As volunteers, Special Constables are not paid but expenses are reimbursed.
Regular Special Constables can get involved in a range of policing activities from high visibility patrols around pubs and clubs at the weekend and tackling anti-social behaviour to being called to assist at the scenes of incidents such as road traffic collisions, burglaries or assaults.
Those with an interest in the countryside and rural issues could be perfect as a Rural Special Constable. Rural Special Constables are dedicated to the needs of rural communities and have been specially trained to have an understanding of rural issues and the countryside they serve. They work alongside the force’s Rural Operation Support Team (ROST) and local Safer Neighbourhood Teams.
They can be involved in everything from investigating heritage crime, hare coursing and dealing with fly-tipping, to tackling poaching and investigating wildlife offences.
Like regular Specials, Rural Specials have full police powers, but some patrol local areas on horseback using their own horses or via an ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) or quad bike.
Head of the Special Constabulary Chief Inspector Kennedy said: “Special Constables and Rural Special Constables are an incredibly valuable resource to the Constabulary.
“They receive comprehensive training to ensure they can fully play their part and get involved in various aspects of policing. Special Constables also have the chance to support specialist operations and even work on dedicated teams such the Road Policing Unit and the Rural Operation Support Team.
“So, if you are 18 or over, can multi-task, have great interpersonal skills and want to give something back to the community for at least 16 hours a month in your free time, why don’t you consider becoming a Special Constable or Rural Special Constable?”
Visit www.herts.police.uk/specials and click on ‘apply online’ or browse the pages to find out more.