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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

National Volunteers Week: Avon and Somerset Police say ‘thanks’ to volunteers for more than 85,300 hours of support

Avon and Somerset Police are saying a huge ‘thank-you!’ to all of their volunteers this week as part of annual Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June) and National Specials Weekend (6-7 June). The events celebrate the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make every day across the UK.

Almost 800 people volunteer with Avon and Somerset Police, including more than 280 special constables, 240 police support volunteers, and 200 police cadets and their leaders. Volunteers contributed a total of 85,341 hours to the force over the past year, playing a vital role in helping to keep our communities safe.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Cullen said: “It’s never been more poignant than now, in the midst of a global health crisis, to thank and celebrate those who give up their time to help others. The national coronavirus emergency has highlighted the importance of volunteering and caring for the wider community.”

Special constables have the same powers as regular police officers but volunteer their time to help tackle crime. Between May 2019 and April 2020, special constables alone gave more than 66,182 hours of their time to Avon and Somerset Police, which is equivalent to having 36 extra police officers on the beat.

Police support volunteers (PSV) have contributed a total of 12,889 hours in the past year to Avon and Somerset Police (April 2019-March 2020); in support roles which include everything from community SpeedWatch to volunteer drivers and helping to develop and train police puppies.

In addition, 252 police cadets and cadet leaders dedicated more than 6,270 hours providing an important role at local community events such as school fetes, careers conventions and bike marking initiatives.

ACC Cullen continued: “Volunteers selflessly give up their evenings, weekends and bank holidays and sacrifice spending time with family, friends and loved ones to provide a valuable service. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise, and care for their community, often putting themselves at risk. I would like to say thank you to them all on behalf of everyone across Avon and Somerset.”

David Farrell Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary said:  “National Volunteers week is the perfect opportunity to recognise the hard work of our volunteers both during the pandemic and throughout the year.

“In particular, I would like to extend my thanks to four of our special constables who between them have accrued a remarkable 176 years’ service as volunteers. Anthony Alderman MBE, Richard Littlejohns, John Jenkins and Paul Weeks have all played a key role in supporting our frontline officers and have contributed an outstanding service in helping to prevent and investigate crime within the community. To each and every one of them, and to all of our volunteers within Avon and Somerset, I want to express a heartfelt “Thank You” for all that they do.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “During the coronavirus pandemic, every Thursday evening we have been recognising our fantastic key worker heroes who continue to go above and beyond to keep us all safe. We must not forget those volunteers who support our policing services; our volunteers play a huge role in keeping all our communities safe.

“I do not underestimate the commitment and dedication from our volunteers who selflessly give up their time to support officers and staff, especially having to adapt in such challenging circumstances. Our volunteers are passionate about policing and our communities, and I want to say well done and a huge thank you for all you do.”