Supermarket Tesco backs Employer Supported Policing in Hertfordshire
Every little helps, as Tesco becomes the most recent company to encourage members of their workforce to become police Special Constables by signing up for Hertfordshire’s Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme.

The UK's biggest supermarket chain, which has an estimated 310,000 employees and has its national headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, now give five days paid leave a year to staff fulfilling policing duties in their role as a volunteer Special Constable, in addition to ten days unpaid leave towards special training each year.

Tesco joins more than 20 businesses signed up and working with Employer Supported Policing following a six-month drive by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd. The campaign aims to engage local businesses and authorities and raise awareness of the scheme’s many benefits, in a joint venture with the county’s police force.

With Special Constables volunteering for at least 16 hours a month, ESP allows employers to tailor the scheme to the needs of their own business, choosing to give staff paid leave for training, duties and/ or emergencies. Staff electing to join the scheme gain employer support in working on police duties alongside their employment and benefit from extensive in-depth training and personal development. This experience is often invaluable in their day jobs.

Special Constables hold the same powers and have the same training as regular officers and play a valuable role in saving lives, responding to emergencies, reassuring the public, arresting suspects and dealing with ‘quality of life’ issues.

Matthew Carey, Buying Administrator at Tesco and Special Constable with Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Tesco joining the Employee Supported Policing Scheme means a great deal for colleagues like me who volunteer with the police. Being given more paid leave means I can take part in a broader range of policing duties and it also means I get to spend more of my free time with family. I hope this extra support will result in many more colleagues joining me in volunteering roles in their local communities.”

Already 88 Tesco employees nationally serve as Special Constables with active involvement in Employer Supported Policing in Hertfordshire - some in stores and others based in the company’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City.

Tesco joins county-based businesses, Hertford’s McMullen & Sons, KPMG Watford and BAM Construct UK in Hemel Hempstead, in addition to national organisations supporting Hertfordshire employees, including RBS Group, Mothercare, Barclays, BT Group and the John Lewis Partnership. The scheme has also secured local authority support from half of the county’s ten district and borough councils and Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust.

The Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “I am delighted that Tesco, one of the nation’s biggest and most prominent retailers has thrown its weight behind the ESP initiative, particularly as it’s been driven from their Hertfordshire headquarters.”

We would encourage all business, organisations and authorities to consider what part they too can play in supporting their staff constructively - exploring their passion for helping to keep Hertfordshire safe and become directly involved in local policing.”

Natasha Adams, UK People Director at Tesco said: “We know colleagues who are Special Constables hold positions of responsibility and trust in their communities. In recognition of this we have introduced a new initiative which will enable them to take up to five days paid leave a year towards their policing duties. We hope this will help those colleagues who give up a significant proportion of their time to help serve communities across the UK.”

Businesses signing up to the scheme are invited to regular ESP information and awards presentations to receive recognition award for their support from the Commissioner and Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Constabulary.

A further ESP information evening is currently in its planning stages for later this year. To register your interest, email or call 01707 806150.