On Monday, September 26, the Special Constable National Alliance (SCNA) was launched with the aim of representing and supporting Special Constables in England and Wales.
Across England and Wales there are currently more than 15,000 Special Constables*. These volunteer police officers do a fantastic job assisting their paid colleagues, contributing a minimum of 16 hours a month, yet they have no representative body.
Police forces are looking to recruit more and more Special Constables, who have the same powers and responsibilities and face the same dangers as their paid colleagues, but they are not afforded the same representation and protection.
Whilst in the vast majority of cases Special Constables face no issues in completing their work and receive support from their regular and special colleagues, sometimes they can feel isolated as they cannot join the Police Federation and there is no union that directly represents Special Constables and their interests.
The Special Constable National Alliance, which is founded and run by serving Special Constables, is seeking to change this by forming an organisation where every volunteer officer is represented.
The Alliance will provide a voice for Special Constables at both a local and national level, holding decision makers to account, stand by colleagues when they need the support the most and ensure that training and resources provided to Special Constables are sufficient and consistent.
The Special Constable National Alliance does of course recognise the valuable work of the Police Federation and Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers and hopes to work alongside both bodies, but there is still a great void where frontline Special Constables are not given a say in decisions that affect them.
Currently the SCNA is identifying what level of interest there is to take the Alliance to the next stage, which would be to seek formal recognition of the organisation from the Home Office. In order to gauge this interest, the SCNA asks Special Constables to sign up now.
Already a number of officers have registered with the SCNA with membership open to any serving Special Constable (up to and including the rank of Special Inspector, or the equivalent) and joining is quick, easy and free via the SCNA’s website.
NOTE TO EDITORS: *According to Home Office statistics published in March 2016