Special Constables take to the streets to show commitment to community
A POLICE team took to the streets of York as part of “special” operations to highlight their work in the community.
The operations, which included the execution of warrants and roadside inspection of vehicles, had been fully organised by the Special Constables and coincided with the launch of a new recruitment campaign across North Yorkshire.
Temporary District Officer Kath Houlden has been volunteering as a Special for about eight years.
She said the operations, involving 19 Specials, had gone well but also included a few surprises – including a call to assist armed police who had arrested a pair of men on suspicion of drugs offences, and a search of the Monk Bar area for a man suspected of assault and criminal damage.
She hoped the campaign would help differentiate the work of volunteer Special Constabless and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).
“It was quite a busy evening, for a normal Monday night, while most people would be sitting at home,” she said. “We had a good turnout.
“PCSOs are brilliant for getting information and do a great job, but Specials are different, because they have the power to arrest and set up their own operations, as they did on Monday.”
During the operations, Specials stopped a number of motorists and issued notices about deficient vehicles, with two people arrested during the execution of warrants and one sent to prison for 28 days.
Kath, who works part-time as a dispatch manager at Cuffs and Co in Shambles, said she would encourage people to sign up as a Special from only four hours a week.
She said: “It’s really challenging and rewarding and you meet a variety of people out there. You’re doing something good for the community.
“It’s a great insight into the role of the regular police officer if you’re thinking of joining them.
“We’re supposed to do 16 hours a month on duty, but I do 60 to 100, as do many of us. It’s addictive really, and you get out what you put in.”
For more information on the role of Specials with North Yorkshire Police, go to nypspecials.com
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