Nottinghamshire branch chair Simon Riley has praised the contribution of Special Constables to policing as he prepared to welcome them into the Police Federation.

A change in the law means that Special Constables can join the Federation’s 139,000-strong membership from tomorrow (1 July).

Simon said it was the culmination of a decade of campaigning to give Specials access to the support of the Federation.

He said: “We’re delighted that our Special Constables are now eligible to become members of the Police Federation of England and Wales.

“Our Specials do a fantastic job supporting our officers. They’re committed to giving their time and dedicate many hours to policing and serving the public

“They face the same risks as officers and their work during the pandemic made them more crucial and more visible than ever.

“It’s only right that they’re able receive the support and advice from our reps, and are able to call on expert advice and representation if they should need it.

“This is the welcome conclusion to a decade of campaigning by the Federation to get them that support and representation.”

The Special Constabulary was formed in 1831 but its members haven’t had an umbrella organisation representing them and had negligible legal protection – until now. 

With the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 now coming into force, Special Constables can sign up for Federation membership to receive support and advice from elected workplace reps who have received full training on Police Regulations.

Dave Bamber, the national Federation’s Special Constabulary lead, said: “Specials play a dangerous and difficult role in society, and they need support in the workplace to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged and the Federation will be there to offer that support.

“From a Special Constabulary point of view, the law change is a really big indication of acceptance within the police family and the Federation wishes to embrace them as well.”

Federation national Steve Hartshorn added: “Special Constables bring their own unique set of life skills into policing. It is only right that they have the same protection, support, and experience as their full-time colleagues when they need it.

“As members they will have access to Federation services and the support of trained and accredited federation reps, our legal service providers and other experts who have experience in representing officers. They will also have access to many other benefits provided local and nationally by the Federation’s network across England and Wales.

“I would encourage the Special Constables who are interested in joining as members to contact their local Federation representatives, local branch board or visit the PFEW website to learn more.”

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