VOLUNTEER police officers who fight crime alongside their ‘day jobs’ are making a real difference to their community.
East Durham is reaping the benefits of having special constables patrolling the streets.
Special constables have the same powers as regular, paid police officers and their roles help reduce response times.
Special Sergeant Adam Usher’s team come from a range of different backgrounds and have various day jobs.
These range from administration, painting and decorating, and communications to education and management.
Special Sgt Usher’s team covers Peterlee and Seaham and the officers carry out extensive roles in both communities.
They carry the same equipment, have the same uniform and have the same responsibilities and paperwork.
Their training is extensive and ongoing and they are involved in emergency response, foot patrol, reassuring residents, crime prevention and taking part in operations and events.
They lead the regular Club Adolescent youth night at Peterlee Leisure Centre, which attracts up to 500 young people and has helped to keep anti-social behaviour down in surrounding areas.
Special Sgt Usher said: “Being a police officer is a demanding role and it is always very difficult to predict what will be around the next corner.
“This is one of the attractions to the job because it is never the same one day as it is the next.
“The team have been in the role for a few years now and all signed up because they want to make a difference in the local community, as well as develop their life skills and experiences.
“Some officers see it as a ‘try before you buy’ because they are considering a career in the police as a regular police officer.
“We all take great pride in knowing that we have provided an excellent service to the people of Peterlee and Seaham.”
Durham Police are recruiting more special officers to serve the local community further.
Anyone interested in becoming a special officer should visit www.durham.police.uk and check for regular recruitment drive appeals.