NEWS: Police group slams ads for recruitment as waste of money

By OUR PARLIAMENTARY CORRESPONDENT, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 12 April 1996 12:00AM

A pounds 2 million campaign by Leagas Shafron Davis to recruit more volunteer special constables has been branded a waste of money by full- time police officers.

A pounds 2 million campaign by Leagas Shafron Davis to recruit more

volunteer special constables has been branded a waste of money by full-

time police officers.



The Police Federation has attacked the Government’s drive to encourage

more people to become special constables. It says the budget would be

better spent on boosting the pay of new recruits to the police force.



Leagas Shafron is running a national press campaign based on people who

have become ‘specials’, including two from ethnic minorities. One says:

‘Over the past two years she’s experienced domestic violence. Natasha

Williams is a special constable.’



The campaign includes two 30-second TV films using hidden cameras to

show how ordinary people react to real-life emergencies; the two who

help out are the ‘right sort’ for the specials.



The Home Office hopes the drive will boost the ranks of neighbourhood

special constables from 1,000 to 3,000. But the federation dismissed the

target as unrealistic.



The federation claimed that special constables were resigning almost as

fast as they were being enlisted. In the six months to last September,

following a similar burst by Leagas Shafron, police forces took on 2,150

specials but 2,065 resigned, leaving a net gain of just 85. Fred

Broughton, the federation’s chairman, said this level of wastage

amounted to a loss of pounds 4.2 million a year - the cost of 220

regular officers.



Although ministers will dismiss the attack as part of the rivalry

between full-time and volunteer officers, Broughton said he was not

attacking the special constabulary.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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