PCC thanks Wiltshire Police's small army of dedicated volunteers

Volunteers thank you

This week is National Volunteers' Week and this weekend is National Specials Weekend, recognising those who give up their time for free to make a difference in their community.

Here at Wiltshire Police our volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the Force.

They carry out such a range of different roles, some of which are public-facing and visible such as Special Constables, Community Speed Watch and Neighbourhood Watch, others do work behind the scenes such as restorative justice volunteers and chaplains, while others carry out work to ensure the public's voice is heard in the scrutiny of the work we do, including our Independent Advisory Groups.

It is difficult to put into words the immense difference that all these people make to the work we are able to do.

Perhaps it is easier to illustrate through numbers instead:

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, 124 Special Constables have contributed more than 13,800 hours of volunteering (between 23 March and 29 May).
  • We have 1,250 people who volunteer across our 120 Community Speed Watch teams.
  • 105 young people, aged between 13 and 16, give up their free time to serve in our Wiltshire Police Cadets programme.

It is no secret that policing faces an unprecedented level of demand on our resources and we simply would not be able to provide our current level of service without all these people volunteering their time, experience and skills.

Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the huge strength of community-spirit and pride that people across Wiltshire have in giving something back to the people around them.

We have seen so many positive and heart-warming stories of neighbours rallying round to support vulnerable people, those delivering food and cards to key workers and people going above and beyond to ensure we are "all in this together".

This week we have seen the Government restrictions start to ease again, as we can now meet up with more people, as long as we ensure we are keeping two metres apart.

But it is just as important, now more than ever, that we continue to think of others.

Perhaps you have a neighbour who is continuing to shield and either can't or doesn't want to leave the house for essential shopping.

Or a family member who feels unsure about their children returning to school or their own return to work.

So, please be mindful of those around you and how they may be feeling during these continuing uncertain times and, if you are out and about, please make sure you are doing everything you can to keep yourselves and others safe.

Finally, I would like to send my condolences to the family and friends of the two women who died in Salisbury on Monday afternoon. This horrific incident has no doubt caused significant distress to the local community. The police investigation is ongoing and I can assure everyone that officers are working as diligently as a possible to progress their enquiries.

Published 5 June 2020.