Wiltshire Specials provide special contribution during coronavirus pandemic

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The Wiltshire Special Constabulary have contributed thousands of hours to support the force's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Since the lockdown started on 23 March 2020, the Special Constabulary as a whole have given more than 10,500 hours to policing.

In April alone, around 100 specials across more than 700 shifts volunteered more than 6000 hours.

One of those Specials providing extra support is 19-year-old George Mason.

George is among many people in the hospitality industry that has been placed on furlough due to COVID-19. He decided that providing more hours to policing and supporting the local community would be the perfect way to spend his time away from work.

He said: "I haven't let this difficult time get me down and have used it instead to give more time to policing and help out my team.

"I have joined my teams shift pattern; whether that be days, evenings or nights, and since the middle of March, I have completed about 236 hours of service.

"As things stand, I am hoping to complete around 170 hours for May alone. I will continue to do this until the hospitality industry reopens".

PCC Angus Macpherson said: "Specials play a key role in policing here in Wiltshire. As volunteers, they add value to the force, as well as bringing extra skills and experience from other roles.

"Seeing the commitment shown by George, and the whole of our Special Constabulary, makes me so proud. On behalf of all our communities, here in Wiltshire and Swindon, I want to thank them for their service at this challenging time".

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: "The response of our special constables has been nothing short of inspirational. Their commitment to their role has been first-class and I cannot thank them enough for their dedication.

"I know that their extra-support at this time has been appreciated by all our community policing teams and it again proves what a vital resource they are to policing here in Wiltshire and Swindon.

"I want to pass my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the specials who have played their part in policing our communities through the COVID-19 period".

Special constables are volunteer police officers who have the same powers and wear the same uniform as regular officers. Our Special Constabulary integrates into community policing teams, working closely with regular officers to provide high quality frontline policing.