South Yorkshire Police urges businesses to give paid leave to special constables during coronavirus crisis

South Yorkshire Police is calling on businesses to provide paid leave to special constables during the coronavirus crisis.

Saturday, 21st March 2020, 9:17 am

The force said specials play a ‘vital role’ in policing the county and will be ‘incredibly valuable’ in helping frontline officers to manage demand during the fight against Covid-19.

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South Yorkshire Police is echoing a call from the National Police Chiefs’ Council for employers to consider giving specials paid leave to help with the national effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Regular police officers on patrol

The force said: “We and the National Police Chiefs’ Council are appealing to businesses to consider providing paid leave to special constables.

“Our volunteer specials play a vital role in our policing operation and will be incredibly valuable in supporting us in managing the impact of coronavirus.”

The NPCC said it is expected that police forces across the UK will come under increasing strain as they try to maintain ‘business-as-usual policing’ while managing rising levels of sickness and self-isolation of officers and staff.

There are currently more than 10,000 special constables in the UK, who all have the same powers as regular police officers.

The appeal for paid leave has been made to businesses which are part of the national Employer Supported Policing Scheme - an agreement where special constable employees are provided with additional paid leave to allow them to undertake policing duties.

But employers who are not currently part of the scheme are being asked to show their support.

Chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Martin Hewitt, said: “Our special constables play a vital role in the police service, a service which will be placed under great strain over the coming months.“We appreciate that this would be placing a further burden on businesses who are already suffering the economic impact of this virus, and we do not make this appeal lightly.

“Businesses who are able to release their staff to undertake these important roles will be supporting the national effort against Covid-19 by helping us to maintain services and keep people safe.

“This is part of our contingency planning for the coming weeks and months.