Volunteer cop numbers fall in Cleveland Police area
The number of special constables working alongside Cleveland Police officers has fallen by nealy two thirds over the past decade, new figures reveal.
The Police Federation say increases in their day-job workloads have made it impossible for many to volunteer and the Association of Special Constabulary Officers (ASCO) has described a fall in numbers nationally as a "huge loss" to policing.
Home Office data shows Cleveland Police had 69 special constables in March this year – down from 101 on year before but 64% down on the number in 2011 when there were 192.
The officers, known as "specials", work a minimum of 16 hours a month as volunteers.
The fall in the number of specials in Cleveland Police comes alongside a 15% decrease in full-time police officers, despite a Government-backed recruitment campaign for 20,000 more officers nationally by 2023.
Nationally, the number of special officers has reduced by more than half over the past decade from 18,421 to 9,174 this year.
Police Federation chairman John Apter said: “More and more has been expected of special constables and these extra pressures have caused some to leave the service, as they cannot juggle their day jobs with what is expected of them.”
ASCO chairman David Pedrick-Friend said: “The reduction in numbers represent a huge loss to policing and we must all work together to urgently reverse this trend."
The Home Office said it was working closely with police forces to help attract, recruit and retain more special constables.
For more information about becoming a special constable with Cleveland Police, go to: www.cleveland.police.uk/police-forces/cleveland-police/areas/cleveland-police/careers/careers/special-constabulary/