National Volunteers' Week is an important reminder of the difference an individual can make when they give their support to benefit an organisation or individual.
The time volunteers give and the financial impact is of great benefit for all organisations, but without even realising volunteers give so much more.
In an industry where no two days are the same and you don't know what might happen next, it is important that we have a Force with a wide and varied range of skills and experience. Volunteers help my office and Wiltshire Police to widen the pool of skills and experience we can draw upon.
The engagement of volunteers also supports my drive to have a Police Force that truly reflects the community it serves, welcoming people from communities across the county and broadening the diversity of the Force.
I recognise that some people and some communities have not always had a positive perception of the police, so would not actively seek employment with the police force. As these perceptions change, offering volunteer roles to the community helps us to break down those barriers and provides a stepping stone for individuals to try out roles and most importantly try out the police force before considering a more permanent role, making policing more accessible to all.
Both my office and Wiltshire Police have an obligation to ensure we are open and transparent in our work and how we engage with the community. Volunteers help us to achieve this by giving us an independent point of view. Whether this is part of the Force Independent Advisory Groups, Independent panel members or Independent Custody Visitors, the contribution these volunteers give helps both my office and the Force to check and test that we are providing the best service to the communities we serve and identify where improvements can be made.
It is only right that we celebrate the contribution volunteers make and raise awareness of the great work that is being done here in Wiltshire and right across the county.
The contribution volunteers make to my office and to Wiltshire Police not just this week but every day makes a massive difference to the work we do. Recognising this I would like to remind everyone that it is important that we say thank you not just today but every day.