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
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.