Essex Police have thanked the special volunteer police officers who make a difference on a daily basis.

Special Constables have been busy over the past week keeping Essex safe amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis).

They’ve been actively engaging and responding including carrying out high visibility patrols in Hatfield Peverel and patrolling areas such as Mersea Island, Waltham Abbey and Great Baddow.

It’s not just the streets they’ve been keeping safe - in one afternoon they issued five tickets to people for speeding and driving without a seatbelt.

To help celebrate the work of our Special Constabulary – the fastest growing in the UK and the second largest – Essex Police are promoting their new recruitment campaign on the side of buses on routes off Harlow, Colchester, Chelmsford, Basildon and Southend.

Superintendent Cat Barrie, who heads the Special Constabulary, said: “Special Constables play a vital role in keeping Essex safe and the work highlighted above is just a handful of examples throughout this week.

“We’ve Special Constables within most of our departments in Essex Police, volunteering alongside jobs such as bankers, teachers, doctors and office workers.

“By volunteering you will make a difference, learn new skills, you’ll challenge yourself, you will help your community, you’ll have a sense of belonging and you will gain in confidence.

“If you want to help keep communities safer while volunteering in an exciting and interesting role, which will provide training and skills, then become a Special Constable.”

Between Friday, March 13, and yesterday, Thursday, March 19, the Special Constables have worked 443 duties, arrested 19 people, assisted in the arrest of 52 people, carried out 18 stop and searches and reported 43 people for traffic offences.

From the 2,997 hours they worked, 37 hours of them were spent searching for missing people and 807 were used providing vital training.

On Monday 16 March, A further six more Special Constables received their warrant cards an attestation ceremony and they will join over 500 other people already trained on Monday, March 16.

Derek Hopkins MBE, Specials Deputy Chief Officer, who celebrates his 40 years of service this month, said: “I’m 67 and I’m still just as passionate about the Special Constabulary today as I was when I first applied.

“I’m both mentally and physically fit and want to help people and I’ll continue to do so until I can’t.

“We have officers across the force including in our Control Room, helping our Marine and Dog units, assisting the Drones and Roads Policing teams and providing support to our Local and Community Policing teams.

“The possibilities by becoming a Special Constable are endless, it really is a fantastic time to get on board.”

In 2019, Special Constables worked a total of 195,813 hours – an increase of 37,752 hours from 2018.

This resulted in 75,517 hours being worked in high visibility patrols, 1,490 stop searches and 4,287 arrests.

To find out more about the campaign and how to apply visit the Essex Police Special Constabulary web pages.