Special constabulary patrol led by special inspector Alisha Ede Image Bedfordshire Police

Specials responded to 63 emergency calls

The special constabulary has supported Bedfordshire Police during one of the busiest times of the year for the force. It volunteered 672 hours during the Halloween and bonfire night period.

With the recently implemented lockdown measures coming into action, specials have also been a vital resource in helping educate the community and enforce the new regulations.

From the 31 October to 8 November, volunteer officers took part in a dedicated operation to tackle anti-social behaviour often seen during the Halloween period.

They also attended three warrants, responded to 63 emergency calls, made four arrests and carried out two breath tests.

In addition, they attended and dispersed large gatherings in town centres and homes, conducted a foot chase after a suspect, attended a call of passengers fighting on a train, and assisted with prisoner transport, to name but a few.

Special Inspector Stewart Mahoney said:

“The special constabulary attends a huge range of operations and incidents and really gets involved in all sides of policing. Helping the community of Bedfordshire during what can be one of the busiest times of the year for the force, and with the current difficulties with Covid-19, is something I go home feeling really proud of.

“Being able to help people and make a difference to the community I live in is a great feeling. It can also be a benefit to my own personal growth as I gain new skills that I take into my working life, from communication to conflict management and more.”

Bedfordshire Police said its Special Constabulary has more volunteers than the national average for the size of the county’s population. They also volunteer more than the monthly required hours in just a week.

Chief Inspector Mark Farrant said:

“The special constabulary really helps us to keep the people of Bedfordshire safe, especially during some of the busier times of the year. Halloween and bonfire night, during a normal year, is notoriously busy for us. During this period last year, we received around 10,000 calls and we saw a 21% increase in those call numbers for this year which shows how vital the additional resources the special constabulary brings.

“Ten specials volunteered to the operation in the north of the county on one day alone which was a real help to us. We rely on the support from our specials constables in keeping communities safe, particularly so during this difficult time.”

Special constables start their time at Bedfordshire Police with training sessions during evenings and weekends. Once they pass training and gain their warrant cards, specials move on to work alongside response teams in both the north and south of the county.

There is also ongoing work to involve more departments within the force to open up further areas of deployment for volunteers.

If you would like to join Bedfordshire’s Special Constabulary and learn new skills whilst giving back to your community visit Bedfordshire Specials.