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Sussex Police to recruit for 120 new Special Constables

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sussex Police have launched a recruitment drive to find 120 new special constables before the end of 2014. Special Constables have the same powers as paid officers and have the power to arrest. Most Special constables will complete the minimum 16 hours a month on weekends and evenings as the majority of them have full time jobs.

A recent report said Sussex Police were failing to keep hold of its ‘front line crime fighters’. But Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, denied that the recruitment drive for Special Constables is to replace full-time officers and that they had no connection to the cuts being made.

Sussex Police already have 380 specials that mostly work in Neighbourhood Policing teams and spend at least four hours a week on the beat.

The force has already cut 271 jobs across the force as they try to save £52 million by 2015. Police watchdog the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary has criticised the cuts as the number of frontline officers will be dramatically reduced.

Katy Bourne denied the civilians were replacing full-time officers. She said: “This is certainly not policing on the cheap. In fact earlier this year we announced we would be recruiting 80 full-time new officers.

Colin Tribe who volunteers as a Special Constable with the Brighton and Hove Neighbourhood Policing Team stated, “We have to qualify and pass through the process – we have to be of the right calibre. There’s no pecking order – we are treated exactly the same as the regular officers. We use the equipment and we are there to support them.”

Robin Merrett Assistant Chief Constable of Sussex Police said: “If you go back in history, policing was always about citizens coming together to protect their communities. Working as a special constable gives members of the community the opportunity to get right into the heart of Sussex Police and ultimately the communities we serve.”