More Special Constables needed in South Yorkshire

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Police chiefs in South Yorkshire want to have 650 volunteers pounding the county’s streets to boost the number of bobbies on the beat.

There are 410 Special Constables currently volunteering their time for free to help regular bobbies keep law and order, but there are plans to have a team of 650 in place by April.

With Government-imposed budget cuts of £49 million over recent years leaving police chiefs having to reduce their paid workforce, the need for volunteers has become more pressing.

Stephen Merrett, Chief Officer of South Yorkshire’s Special Constabulary, said: “Specials in South Yorkshire perform a wide variety of duties, more than other police forces, giving individuals a much broader range of skills and experiences.

“We assist in a whole manner of incidents from searching for missing people to sporting events.

“Every day is a different challenge and we really do make a difference.”

Superintendent Neil Thomas said: “We are delighted that the number of people joining South Yorkshire Police as Specials keeps increasing and has nearly doubled in the last year.

“We now have more Specials in force than we have ever had before.

“We are keen to increase our Special Constabulary even further and we welcome applications from a wide variety of backgrounds and age groups, to reflect the diverse communities we serve.”

Since June 2013, when the force launched a major recruitment campaign, the number of Specials in South Yorkshire has risen from 273 to 410.

But to boost numbers further an information day is to be held at ICE Sheffield, Coleridge Road, from 10am-1pm on Sunday, September 28.

Special Constables applicants should be between 18 and 65 years-old, be able to work a minimum of 16 hours a month and be living, working or studying in South Yorkshire.

To find out more call 0114 2197000 or visit www.southyorks.police.uk/specials