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Coronavirus: North Yorkshire Specials contribute 2,334 hours during COVID-19

Coronavirus: North Yorkshire Specials contribute 2,334 hours during COVID-19

Published by Lisa Darvill at 1:20pm 19th May 2020. (Updated at 2:54pm 19th May 2020)

North Yorkshire’s Special Constables have contributed a total of more than 2,334 hours to support frontline policing since restrictions were put in place by the Government. 

  • 55 Special Constables have completed 2,334 hours of deployment over 405 duties between Monday 23 March and Sunday 17 May
  • They've been working with regular colleagues to respond to emergency calls
  • Specials have also been making sure members of the public to adhere to the government’s guidelines 

A total of 55 Special Constables have completed 2,334 hours of deployment over 405 duties between Monday 23 March and Sunday 17 May, as part of North Yorkshire Police’s response to the fight against Covid-19.

‘Specials’, as they are known, have been working with regular colleagues to respond to emergency calls, as well as engaging, explaining, encouraging and enforcing members of the public to adhere to the government’s guidelines on social distancing.

Special Constables have the same power, uniform and responsibilities as full-time police officers but volunteer on a part-time basis, managing their role alongside their normal employment.

The force currently has 80 Specials who actively volunteer their time for the force with a further 14 student Special Constables from across the force starting their initial training later this month.

North Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable Lisa Winward said:

“The dedication from our Special Constabulary over the last seven weeks has been nothing short of extraordinary. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to each and every one for selflessly stepping forward as front line officers, helping us to protect the public during these unusual and challenging times.

“Whilst they could have been staying safe at home, they have instead chosen to pull on their North Yorkshire Police uniform to help protect the vulnerable and keep our communities safe."

Special Constable Jon Everitt has been volunteering with North Yorkshire Police in Harrogate for nearly three years.  

jon everitt special constable
SC Jon Everitt (right) on duty with an NHS colleague

 

He was furloughed by his employer shortly after the COVID-19 situation escalated, and noting that furloughed employees were being encouraged to undertake voluntary work where possible he found a role working full-time with his regular colleagues in Response at Harrogate Police Station.

He said: 

“It’s been a difficult time for us all during lockdown, but this has been a fantastic opportunity for me to develop my skills as a Special, and it’s been great to feel that I’m able to do something of value for my local community.  The Band that I have joined at Harrogate have made me so welcome and really made me feel like part of the team.  The support that I have had from supervision, my colleagues and the Force Control Room staff has been outstanding.  As an independent-patrol Special I have been treated just like any other response cop, but happily there has only been one cake fine so far!  I won’t say what it was for…

“Policing the measures introduced as a result of the virus has been difficult.  Nobody joins the Police Service in any capacity to be involved in breaking up social gatherings that would normally be a part of normal life for instance, but on the whole the public of Harrogate have been very supportive of what my colleagues and I have been asked to do in order to protect the NHS."