River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Making Norfolk Safe

January 2003

Want a better rural community? Prepared to do something about it?

The Specials Through Employer Partnership (STEP) has been developed to encourage partnerships between Norfolk employers, employees and Norfolk Constabulary to increase the number of Special Constables in the county's rural areas. STEP aims to provide an incentive for members of Norfolk communities to help police the rural parts of the county by securing the support of their employers to be a Special Constable.

Your community!

You could help to police your parish! Perhaps two or three members of your parish could become Special Constables, train together and then help police the parish as a team? Maybe individuals from two or three neighbouring parishes would be able to share the policing as Specials? We are seeking community spirited people who want to actively make a difference in their community. Are you that person in your community? Do you know someone else that might help? With your local knowledge and our training and support you can make a difference.

A Special Constable is a volunteer who dedicates at least 16 hours service per month, about 4 hours per week! Duty times are flexible and can be arranged to suit other commitments. All Specials are thoroughly trained for the role they will undertake and are issued with the same equipment as a regular officer. Specials have the same powers as a regular officer in the county of Norfolk and the surrounding counties.

You will be attached to your nearest police station and can spend the majority of your time policing your community. There may be instances where you will be deployed to other areas when required by operational commitments.

In the past some specials have found it difficult to balance work, home and voluntary duties without the support of their employer. The Specials Through Employers Partnership (STEP) aims to encourage employers to sponsor any employee who would like to volunteer by allowing them up to 1 day per month off work to help manage their time. This sponsored time does not have to be used to carry out Specials duty; it could be used to spend time with your family. However, you must match your employers sponsored time by performing an equivalent number of hours in your own time. For example :-

If your employer sponsored you one day per month, (which is equivalent to eight hours duty,) you would agree to give eight hours of your own time to the Specials. So you could spend your sponsored day off with your family or doing those jobs you don't otherwise get time for! Your duty time of 16 hours is then fitted in during evening and weekends. Of course if you wanted to use your sponsored time to duties you can if you wish!

Perhaps your employer is unable to agree to one day off per month but is prepared to sponsor 4 hours off by arrangement. You would agree to match this commitment by serving 4 hours with the Specials. Your sponsored time is taken by arrangement with you employer according to shift patterns or the operational demands of the business. Again your 16 hours duty time will then be fitted in during evenings and weekends.

Obviously, not all employers will be able to release their staff for one day per month as this may significantly affect their business. It may be necessary to discuss the amount of time that can be sponsored with your employer and reach a mutual agreement that satisfies the needs of both parties. You can arrange your duty time with your Special Constabulary Section Officer to suit your other commitments.

Each Special goes through a thorough initial and ongoing training syllabus. All Specials develop many new transferable skills as well as improving existing ones. Not only will you gain new skills, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference to your community and not simply complaining that something ought to be done! Of course there are the fun bits too, like the new friends to be made and the social events!

Community responsibility is becoming increasingly important as more businesses wish to demonstrate their commitment to their local communities. STEP is an ideal way for local businesses to demonstrate their commitment to our community and they will subsequently benefit through an enhanced company image, marketing opportunities and the staff development that volunteers attain during their training and duty.

Increased resources for the constabulary will improve the community as a whole. You can do your bit for your community locally. A safer community means a better a better living environment for residents and a better working environment for businesses. With your help we really can "Make Norfolk Safe."

If you are interested in being a Special in your community then contact us to find out more.

E-mail: stepspecials@norfolk.police.uk

Phone: 01953 423683

Post: STEP, Jubilee House, Falconers Chase, Wymondham, Norfolk NR18 0WW

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