During 2019, citizens volunteered more than 47,000 hours as special constables to help keep the residents and businesses of Bedfordshire safe.
Special constables are members of the public who volunteer in their spare time as a warranted police officer.
They wear the same uniform, have the same powers and work alongside regular officers.
On average, volunteers spent seven hours per shift patrolling Bedfordshire. During the time volunteered, specials from the force completed 6,870 duties which included making 217 arrests, taking 357 statements and attending 1,327 incidents.
Chief Inspector, Ian Taylor said, “Special constables are a vital resource for the force and we can’t thank our volunteers enough. They give up their spare time to work alongside our officers to make Bedfordshire a safer place.
“Our specials make a huge impact on our policing teams and really make a difference to our officers and the community.
“If you want to see more police visibility in your area or want to gain new skills and meet new people, why not do something different in 2020 and volunteer as a special constable?”
Special constables start their time at Bedfordshire Police with training sessions during evenings and weekends. Once they pass training and are granted their powers, specials move on to spend six months in community policing and six months working with response teams.
Opportunities exist and continue to grow in many different areas within policing allowing volunteers to develop their skills in specialist areas.
Special Constable Kelly Allen, who has been a special since July 2019, said, “It makes me feel really proud volunteering my time to be a police officer. I can make Bedfordshire a safer place for my children to grow up in and for my friends and family to live.
“Not only do I get to work protecting others and tackling crime, but I’ve learnt so many new skills that can help me in my personal and professional life.
“It’s a great feeling when people come up to you to thank you for the job you do and going home knowing I’ve made a real difference to someone’s life.”
If you would like to find out more about being a special constable, visit the Bedfordshire Police website.