Sussex Police aiming to double the numbers of specials compared to 2010

Sussex Police increase number of specials after budget cuts

Sussex Police increase number of specials after budget cuts

First published in News by

Sussex Police are increasingly turning to volunteers amid major budget cuts.

By December, 471 Special Constables are expected to be working, compared with 240 in 2010.

Their number is set to have increased by more than 88% between 2010 and 2015, compared with a 44% increase across England and Wales.

Meanwhile, the force will have cut 10% of its paid workforce by 2015, as it tries to save £56.8 million. Specials are being given wider roles including investigations, according to an HMIC report.

Mark White, secretary and discipline liaison officer at the Sussex Police Federation, is concerned. He said: “While we are pleased that so many people are giving up their time to be special constables, it is a worry that we are becoming ever more reliant on them.

“They do a fantastic job but with the chief constable announcing that the government tell us we have to save another £50m, we are increasingly concerned that the additional specials simply won’t be enough to fill the gaps.”

Sussex Assistant Chief Constable Robin Smith, however, said volunteers “enhanced the services provided to the community”.

He added: “Special constables have worked in Sussex for over 100 years. Last year, special constables volunteered more than 80,000 hours with us. Their professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm are admirable.”

Specials volunteer for at least four hours a week, and have much of the same training as full-time officers.

Special Constable Matthew Clements, based at Rye, volunteers between 30 and 40 hours a month and said the role was “the best decision of his life”.

He rejected the idea that specials were plugging staffing gaps, adding: “Not at all. They appreciate the extra couple of bodies.”

The HMIC report praised Sussex Police for the way it is dealing with budget cuts.

It said the force had tried to limit cuts to its workforce and increase the proportion of those working in visible roles, adding finances were “well-managed”.

Comments (4)

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11:06am Fri 1 Aug 14

lincsboy351 says...

I was a Special Constable in East Sussex and later Sussex Police from 1966 to 1987. Regular officers have been, and always will be anti 'Specials', known to them as 'Hobby Bobbies'. They would always bleat that we were taking away their overtime. My message to all Specials in the UK is ignore them and carry on with this worthwhile commitement to society. Well done.
I was a Special Constable in East Sussex and later Sussex Police from 1966 to 1987. Regular officers have been, and always will be anti 'Specials', known to them as 'Hobby Bobbies'. They would always bleat that we were taking away their overtime. My message to all Specials in the UK is ignore them and carry on with this worthwhile commitement to society. Well done. lincsboy351
  • Score: 25

12:21pm Fri 1 Aug 14

Goldenwight says...

Maybe I'm missing something here. How exactly are the Police going to increase the number of special constables dramatically? I understood that they took anyone (who met the requirements) to be one in the past. Did they have a waiting list? Were they turning suitable applicants down? If not, then they aren't suddenly going to get a massive increase in numbers.

Or have they dropped their standards so that we will see a lot of petty thugs in uniform given draconian powers when they shouldn't be trusted to tie their own shoelaces?
Maybe I'm missing something here. How exactly are the Police going to increase the number of special constables dramatically? I understood that they took anyone (who met the requirements) to be one in the past. Did they have a waiting list? Were they turning suitable applicants down? If not, then they aren't suddenly going to get a massive increase in numbers. Or have they dropped their standards so that we will see a lot of petty thugs in uniform given draconian powers when they shouldn't be trusted to tie their own shoelaces? Goldenwight
  • Score: -23

5:26am Sat 2 Aug 14

Dave At Home says...

I thought Sussex Police was now part of Surrey Police so why the big savings? Sussex got rid of the helicopter and most of the dog units and a few years ago they got rid of all the horses. I wonder where all the money IS being spent? Specials are great but they will never be able to commit the time required to do proper full time policing.
I thought Sussex Police was now part of Surrey Police so why the big savings? Sussex got rid of the helicopter and most of the dog units and a few years ago they got rid of all the horses. I wonder where all the money IS being spent? Specials are great but they will never be able to commit the time required to do proper full time policing. Dave At Home
  • Score: 3

9:43pm Sun 3 Aug 14

Logicsays says...

Oh yes they're special very special.............
.
Oh yes they're special very special............. . Logicsays
  • Score: 0

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