Cash boost for specials

SUFFOLK Police are to get a cash boost to recruit extra special constables, Home Office minister Hazel Blears announced today.The volunteer police officers who work with regular police colleagues and other police staff, help provide a visible and reassuring police presence, and engage local people in how their communities are policed.

SUFFOLK Police are to get a cash boost to recruit extra special constables, Home Office minister Hazel Blears announced today.

The volunteer police officers who work with regular police colleagues and other police staff, help provide a visible and reassuring police presence, and engage local people in how their communities are policed.

Suffolk is to receive £65,402, and the news comes just days after the Star revealed on Friday how the county's army of specials declined by nearly a third in just six years.

Numbers have fallen from 379 in 1997 to just 275 in March this year and bosses admitted they are struggling to attract new volunteers, despite a series of recruitment drives.


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Now all 43 police forces across England and Wales, will receive funding of up to £70,000 to recruit dedicated staff and trainers.

Forces will be expected to recruit at least 75 additional specials over the next three years, bringing the total number of specials to more than 14,000 by 2006/7.

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Ms Blears said: "Volunteer special constables are a crucial part of modern

day policing. The skills, experience and local knowledge they bring to

policing makes a huge contribution to the communities they serve. They are

a key part of the wider police family, providing a visible presence on the

streets, and helping to cut crime and the fear of crime.

"They are also an important part of the Government's second

phase of police reform, which is ensuring that local communities are

actively engaged in how their communities are policed. Modern specials, with

full police powers, provide a crucial link between local communities and

their police forces. As volunteer police constables, they are the ultimate

active citizens, forging bonds between the public and the police."

Weblink: www.specialconstables.gov.uk

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