Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC spells out cost of police pay award in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has welcomed the pay award for police officers announced by Government last week but spelled out the implications for her cash-strapped force.

The Government announced a pay award for police, as expected, of 1% but added a one-off payment of a further 1% from September 1 2017 which it intends to be funded from police cash reserves. The Commissioner pointed to the very limited amount of reserves held by her force and the funding crisis which future rises could present.

“Police officers everywhere put their safety on the line every day they work on the frontline and deserve recognition of this and a pay increase. In Bedfordshire, this is particularly true since we have just over 1,000 officers to police a population of 644,000 with some of the greatest challenges anywhere in British policing including the third highest terror risk in the country, the cross-over of Serious Organised Crime with London, as it’s so near to us, and an increasing gangs issues involving young people across the county as a whole. While a pay cap on public sector salaries could not possibly last forever, we need to be in no doubt of what this means for Bedfordshire Police as people can see for themselves that we are having to find double the amount that had been budgeted for,” said the Commissioner.

“The Policing Minister referred to reserves held by police forces generally amounting to some £1.5 billion and suggested that policing could easily afford the rise, as a result. It’s right that some forces hold comfortable levels of reserves but this isn’t even remotely the case in Bedfordshire which has just £3m in general reserves, the amount usually used as a benchmark in the public sector for the very minimum which should be kept for an emergency – at just 3% of income.

“In the past, the pay of police staff has tended to rise in line with police pay awards so, if I have to rely on the general reserves and spend nothing at all on developing the force or its buildings, if we assume pay awards for both sets of employees as we move forward, at 2% a year we would have to find £900,000 extra and £1.8 million at 3%.

“You don’t have to be a mathematician to spot that this would wipe out Bedfordshire’s reserves in three years at 2% and less than 18 months at 3% and we already knew we were heading for a financial black hole in 2019-20 without any pay increase above the 1%,” warned Commissioner Holloway.

“The prospect of standing still isn’t a realistic possibility either. We’re already committed to a change in the structure and buildings at Bedfordshire Police so that the Force Control Room 999 and 101 call handlers sit with the Crime Bureau which records crime so there’s a much smoother and better service for the public which will also meet the concerns expressed over several years by the police watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, HMIC. If funding help isn’t provided to the force soon it simply won’t be sustainable in the near future,” the PCC warned.

The Government introduced a pay cap for public sector workers, including police, in 2010 with a two year pay freeze then a 1% limit. The Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, has called on police forces in England and Wales to submit details of their crime and non-crime challenges, their resources and the gap between these, through the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs Council, as the basis of a review of police funding.
A chance to shape victims' services in Bedfordshire
Invitation to join us for a briefing on the role vacancies for our newly developed Signpost – Victims Services Hub

Monday 18th September 7pm, Police HQ, Woburn Road, Kempston, MK43 9AX

The victims ‘Signpost’ service which has been developed over the past year launches on the 1st April 2018 and has been created by the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure that victims of crime receive the best possible support to cope and recover from their experience.

It will be open to and provide support to victims of all crime types whether those crimes are reported to the police or not. Where the victim chooses to report to the crime to the police, the service will provide information, guidance, practical and emotional support through the criminal justice process and for as long as the individual requires.

Job Title Description
Head of Victims Care Services To lead and manage the Victim Care Service in order to ensure it provides excellent services which ensure victims are best equipped to cope and recover from their experience and reduce long term impact on emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.
Victim Care Coordinator To provide end to end co-ordinated support to victims of crime from the initial report to police or self-referral through any criminal justice process and ensure an effective handover to other service delivery partners if additional or specialist support is required.
Restorative Justice Coordinator The RJ Coordinator will be responsible to develop the new Restorative Justice Service and managed its delivery.

N.B some information will not be available

If you would like to find out more information about the roles and wish to attend please complete the form below and return to

Recruitment Invitation
Greyfriars marked for quality homes says PCC
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has announced that Greyfriars Police Station in Bedford town centre is to become a residential development after a “very successful” bidding process.

A total of 16 bids were received by the PCC for the Greyfriars Police Station building with the preferred bidder, and all those in serious contention, seeking to create a residential development on the site. The Commissioner stressed that she wants to ensure that the development will fit in with the council’s plan for the town centre and help to further reinvigorate Bedford.

“It’s been a very successful bidding process and the high value placed upon the site now, and interest shown in it, reflect the way Bedford Borough Council has been effectively transforming the centre of Bedford recently, particularly the brand new Riverside development of flats, a cinema and restaurants in a location only minutes away from the Greyfriars site on foot. I’m not going to jeopardise that in any way and want the residential development of Greyfriars to be of high quality to reflect this approach to transforming the centre of Bedford as we all want the town to be an attractive and safe place to live, work and visit,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“I made sure that the council was part of the process to consider the outcome of sealed bids and we intend to work very closely together to make sure the successful bidder receives all the information necessary to proceed with a planning application for a quality residential development which must reflect the local plan,” said the Commissioner.

The sealed bids process closed on September 1 and was overseen by agents Lambert Smith Hampton. A report from the agents was then considered by a panel comprised of the Commissioner, the CEO of Bedford Borough Council Phil Simpkins, the independent chair of the Police and Crime Panel Paul Cain and the Chief Finance Officer for Bedfordshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Phil Wells.

Mr Cain has conducted two reviews of Bedfordshire Police’s Estate of buildings for the Police and Crime Panel, who have long wanted the site to be sold, after the closure of the custody suite there.

Mr Cain welcomed the successful bidding process and offers for the site, “I have been reviewing Bedfordshire Police Estates since 2013 in my role on the Police and Crime Panel and in particular Greyfriars, which has served Bedford extremely well but which no longer offers a cost effective police presence for Bedford.

“I am delighted to now see that a totally open and transparent bidding process has produced an excellent result for everyone involved and will add to the regeneration of Bedford centre.”

The Commissioner announced that both a bid which is conditional on planning permission and one which is not have been received from the highest bidder, which will now be explored with planners.

“We are at a very early stage of this process and all the bids are informal offers. I am, of course, committed to tell the world the price which is paid and by whom once the ink is dry on the paper and, in fact, can’t wait to do so! Until then though this is a commercially sensitive matter and discretion has to be maintained. Suffice to say that I am very happy with the quality of the bids which have been received and the sheer number of potential buyers who have made serious offers,” said Commissioner Holloway.

The Commissioner stressed that the Community Policing team for Bedford will remain in the town in a more visible and central location.

“We are opening a new Enquiries Office in the very centre of Bedford, just off the high street at Lime Street. The Community team will move there in December once conversion work is complete. This is just as promised in my Police and Crime Plan as people need to be able to see and talk to our officers as easily as possible and even Greyfriars station was at a slight distance from the very centre of the main shopping and working district by day and pubbing and clubbing area by night. There will, of course, be no gap in policing left between the development of Greyfriars and the move to Lime Street,” she said.
PCC backs 999 Appreciation Day to say thank you to Bedfordshire Police
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has called on the public to join her in showing their appreciation of officers and staff working in the emergency services in a day set aside to do just that.

This Saturday (9 September) marks the first ever national 999 Appreciation Day which will provide the chance for the public and those helped by emergency services to share their stories and appreciation. The idea for the day came about following the terror attacks in Manchester and London, as well as the Grenfell fire tragedy.

“The murder of PC Keith Palmer in the Westminster attack, the incredible bravery shown by officers who ran towards the terrorists in Borough Market while others ran away and the most recent event at Buckingham Palace, where police faced a man with a machete, have really driven home to the public the huge debt owed to police officers. The Appreciation Day for the 999 services is a fantastic opportunity to focus attention on this and for the public to have their say,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“After PC Palmer's murder, officers in the Metropolitan Police reported members of the public coming up to hug them. It is appalling that it takes an absolute tragedy to make us realise the extent to which the police and their blue light colleagues put their lives on the line to protect us all and I feel that an annual Appreciation Day is the very least that they deserve.

“In Bedfordshire, the public are very much aware of the difficulties facing a force where officers deal with more crimes per head than almost anywhere else in policing. They want to give the very best service to the public that they can even though this force faces one of the largest challenges in policing, with one of the thinnest blue lines on one of the lowest budgets,” added the PCC.

As part of this, Bedfordshire Police is inviting media to spend a shift with our response officers. This will be a chance for them to see at first-hand the different types of 999 calls the Force responds to and the work that officers do to fight crime and protect the public.

If you would like to take part in a ride-along, please visit the Force’s website to find out more or email

The hashtag for the day is #999DayUK so the public are invited to join in and share it on social media.
Bedfordshire Police Family Fun Day raises thousands for charity
The Bedfordshire Police Family Fun Day, which was a joint event with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Force, has raised at least £1,500 for the charity Embrace, with more still to come.

The free family event took place on Saturday (2 September) and over two thousand came to enjoy the sunshine, see the police dogs, police helicopter and various stalls and rides run by the local people of Bedfordshire.

“I am incredibly proud of my team and all the hard work they put in to helping make sure that everyone who attended the Bedfordshire Police Fun Day, not only had a fantastic time, but raised this truly impressive amount for Embrace,” said Commissioner Holloway.

Embrace is a charity which supports children who have been the victim of, or affected by, crime. All proceeds are being donated in the name of former Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock who sadly died earlier this year and was the Vice President of the charity.

“I was so impressed with how the OPCC team and the Force worked together to create such a fun packed family day that had a focus on engaging with the public and sharing what the police do so well - balanced with raising money for such an amazing charity. We are really pleased that we will be presenting Embrace with a really big cheque in the name of Alf Hitchcock who gave more than 20 years’ service to this charity,” said Interim Chief of staff Clare Kelly.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said, “This event is a celebration for our own families, as well as members of the public and it was wonderful to see so many of our policing family taking part and getting involved in all of the different activities – with great representation from recruitment, the dog unit, helicopter and lots of other units and departments.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of you who turned out to help make it such a success. Let’s make next year event bigger and even better to give our families and friends a super day to remember.”

The Family Fun Day was enjoyed by people who travelled from all over the county and was highly praised on social media with visitors saying it was the ‘best fun day of the season’ and ‘thank you for inviting us in, we never knew just how much goes on behind the scenes in policing’.
PCC praises Emerald Team for outstanding work after its first year
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has praised the Force’s Emerald Team for their success over the last year which has resulted in the highest charge rate for the last six years after dealing with more than 2,000 cases.  

The Emerald Team was set up in September 2016 in an effort to tackle domestic abuse, rape, and serious sexual offences. The team was also tasked with improving investigations and increasing positive outcomes.

“In even the first six months the Emerald Team had proved the wisdom of gathering specialist detectives together in one place to deal with a particularly horrendous set of crimes, largely though not exclusively, against women and young girls. They charged more people in that six months in these areas than the Force had done in the previous six years,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“Those reporting rape and serious sexual offences, together with domestic abuse, can be absolutely certain of a truly profession response by an absolutely dedicated team, as I’ve seen myself having spent time with them,” added the PCC.

The Emerald team, which is headed up by Detective Chief Inspector John Murphy, celebrates its one year anniversary in September and has produced excellent results with conviction rates consistently above the target rate. Before Emerald was established, the detected domestic abuse rate was 24.9 per cent, but the team now achieves an outcome in 35.7 per cent of cases.

Detective Chief Inspector John Murphy, force tactical lead for domestic abuse, said: “The team unites the investigation of domestic and serious sexual offences – crime types which can often share characteristics including inter-relationship abuse, vulnerability, breach of trust and repeat victimisation.

“Before Emerald the way the force dealt with domestic abuse was fragmented and since its inception the improvements to our response to this crime, and the service to victims, is clear. In the first six months of the unit’s existence the team secured the highest charge rate for the last six years. The conviction rate is also consistently above target rate.

"We know that many of these offences can have serious and long-lasting effects, and the Emerald team working together with partners will ensure protection and support for victims and robust prosecution of offenders.”

The unit has also focused on ways to reduce the number of crimes of a sexual or violent nature by educating the public and asking for their support. Last year, the team went to Luton Football Club, where they were warmly received and hundreds of football fans signed the pledge.

Looking ahead to the team’s second year, outstanding performances of Emerald has led the Commissioner to invest further in these specialist detectives.

“The success of Emerald and its sheer workload means I have committed the entire £250,000 under spend from last year to increasing staff. But the huge level of demand means that one of my arguments to government for an urgent uplift in funding for Bedfordshire Police is to strengthen this excellent team still further,” said the Commissioner.
Leighton Buzzard Community Policing Team to move to new base
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway is delighted to announce the long-awaited move of police from Leighton Buzzard Police Station to the community fire station. The move will mean that Leighton Buzzard’s Community Policing Team will be based right in the heart of the town.  

On 30 August, the team will move to a new policing hub at Leighton Buzzard Fire Station in Duncombe Drive as promised by Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway. Response and community officers will be able to work from the new hub, and new signage will show the public that the fire station is now a Fire and Police Blue Light Facility. The former police station on Hockliffe Road is now closed.

Last year, Commissioner Holloway confirmed the sale of Leighton Buzzard Police Station as part of her plans to revolutionise policing in the town. Commenting on the move the Commissioner said, “The fire station is a much more sensible location than the police station, right at the heart of pubbing and clubbing district and off the High Street and Market Place.

“Bedfordshire Police also has the benefit of the proceeds of the sale to contribute to future building work, such as a new custody suite for the north of the county.”

The police station was sold to Central Beds Council as part of its redevelopment plan for the town, and comes at a time when the Force continues to work more closely with other local blue light services to maximise efficiency, improve public service and reduce costs. Earlier this year, as part of the Force’s on-going Blue Light Integration project, the PCC launched a seventh policing hub in the county based at Ampthill Community Fire Station.

Chief Superintendent David Boyle said, “We remain committed to providing a visible policing presence in Leighton Buzzard, and our new base which is closer to the centre of the town will enable us to do that. The new hub will also allow us to continue to work more closely with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“The Force faces many challenges, but community policing is at the heart of all we do, as is protecting the public and keeping our communities safe. We will continue to work with the community to ensure we tackle the issues that matter to them.”

Community policing for Leighton Buzzard, and the south of the county, has been reorganised under Chief Inspector Hob Hoque, who previously led the Force’s small Community Cohesion Team.

“I am happy to say there is a new Sheriff in town as far as Leighton Buzzard is concerned. Chief Inspector Hoque is absolutely determined to embed the Community Policing Team at the very heart of the community in the town, for example linking regularly with town councillors and getting to know those running businesses and organisations to really get a grip on crime and anti-social behaviour in Leighton Buzzard,” said Commissioner Holloway.
PCC backs calls for hate crime online abuse to be treated more seriously
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has backed a national call for hate crime abuse on social media to be treated as a crime – as it would be if said face to face.

The national call has been led by the Crown Prosecution Service which has revised its guidance for prosecutors.  It says the impact of tweeting abuse can be as “equally devastating” as shouting it. 

“It is appalling that some people feel, when they get behind a computer screen, that they can deliver vile, abusive comments about a person’s race, religion, sexuality or physical appearance which, if said to the victim directly, would constitute hate crime,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“There is real cowardice in mounting a hate crime campaign against an individual or group just because it can be done anonymously. Bedfordshire Police takes hate crime incredibly seriously, which is why it has its own hate crime lead and a success rate in prosecutions in over 80%,” added the Commissioner. 

Bedfordshire Police’s Hate Crime lead, Sergeant James Hart, has been leading a team dedicated to supporting victims of hate crime and working with local groups to tackle abuse online. 

“It is really concerning to see how much hate crime has increased over the years, in particular online hate speech. Unfortunately, it is something that a lot of people will experience in their lifetime, as social media has become part of everyday life.

“The abuse is still as devastating and has just as much of a lasting impact online as it would in person. We need to take away the power that those sending abuse feel when hiding behind a computer. The only way to do that is to treat it seriously and ensure those responsible are prosecuted,” said Sgt Hart.

“It’s necessary for Bedfordshire Police to support the community in relation to hate crime. For example, reports of Islamophobia against individuals who had no part whatsoever in the Manchester and London attacks, of this year, rose in the aftermath of these events. 

“There is absolute ignorance blaming an entire community for the actions of a radical minority with no connection whatsoever to them,” added the PCC.

PCC backs the daughter of fallen officer to launch new rule to support officers

The daughter of PC Jon Henry, who was killed on duty in Luton in June 2007, is working with the force to highlight the importance of supporting police officers and staff.

11-year-old Maggie Henry spent a day at police headquarters last week and during her visit a promise was agreed that anyone who is assaulted while on duty will receive contact from a chief officer, to check on their welfare and to offer necessary support.

Officers work hard to protect the public and fight crime in extremely difficult circumstances. Jon Henry made the ultimate sacrifice 10 years ago and it is a stark reminder for the force of the very real dangers officers face when keeping the public safe.

In memory of her dad, Maggie wants to help the force ‘look after our police officers, so that they can look after everyone else’.

The law will work hand-in-hand with the force’s ‘seven point plan’, which commits to treat officers who have been assaulted as victims according to the victims code — the same as any victim of crime.

Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Without question, an assault of any kind should never be considered ‘part of the job’. Our workforce walks into danger when others walk away and sadly verbal and physical assaults are becoming commonplace – but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable.

“Our officers should be afforded the support they need and deserve. This means they are treated the same way as any other victim of crime, they feel valued and that those who attack police officers are not dealt with lightly.”

Bedfordshire Police Federation Chairman, Jim Mallen said: “Looking after officers and staff members who have been assaulted while doing their duty should be a primary consideration for police leaders. The Police Federation brought into Bedfordshire the seven point plan and Maggie's law seems a natural extension to highlight to those assaulted that we care about them and will do our utmost to support them.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: “I never want another family in this county to experience what Maggie Henry and her family have had to go through. I have raised the issue of relatively low penalties for those who attack police officers within government and am about to raise this subject with the Crown Prosecution Service in Bedfordshire.

“In my view, an attack on a police officer is not the same as an assault on any other member of the public, since police are standing on the front-line between those who keep the law and those who want to undermine it. An attack on a single officer is an assault on society itself and should be met with the toughest penalty possible.”

Maggie’s Law - Looking after our police officers, so that they can look after everyone else

PCC celebrates outstanding success of Rural Crime Team and welcomes 4 PCSOs on board
Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has welcomed four new members to the Force's Rural Crime Team as she celebrated its "outstanding success".

The four PCSOs have joined the team - known as Op Sentinel Rural - which was created following the Commissioner's promise in her Police and Crime Plan to create a fairer deal on policing for those who live in the country. In just six months, the team has chalked up an impressive list of successful operations including, but not limited to:-

* Over 900 speed checks 
* 39 vehicles seized

* 87 traffic offences detected

* 26 speeding offences

* 9 arrests

* 4 found fly tipping without a waste carrier's licence

* 83 crime intelligence submissions

* 16 verbal warnings
* 4 Stop and Search interventions

* 1 street caution for cannabis 

* 16 verbal warnings

"This unit has proved its worth beyond all reasonable doubt and I'm absolutely delighted to welcome four experienced PCSOs to expand it still further and build links in person with Bedfordshire's country communities," said Commissioner Holloway.

"I'm told by farmers who've experienced years of feeling ignored by police of their enormous gratitude to the team. For example, there are now daily patrols to visit those who have faced the nuisance and intimidation of fly-tipping and crop destruction through mopeds and quad bikes, particularly in South West Bedfordshire.
"This is a county-wide effort though and the team are involved in everything from preventing hare-coursing on which hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of bets are placed, providing equality in policing of both hunt saboteurs and those who would break the law governing hunts and dealing with wildlife crimes, such as the disturbance of badger setts, as one example. When you see so many badgers by the roadside in our county, you know many have, in fact, been hunted, killed and placed there to cover this up as I know well, living in the Bedfordshire countryside myself," said the PCC.

PCSOs Giovanna Traetto, Lynne Wells, Ben Oxley and Anthony Seamarks are the latest members of the country crime busters in the specialist team which will have grown, by September, to a Sergeant, five Police Constables and four PCSOs under the supervision of a Chief Inspector and Superintendent.
"This is, without a doubt, the largest dedicated Rural Team in the Eastern Region," said T/Chief Insp. Mark Farrant.

The Rural Crime Team concentrates on the whole range of key rural crimes such as Traveller issues, fly tipping, hare-coursing, agricultural thefts and those targeting country churches and heritage buildings, fly-grazing, sheep-worrying and all wildlife crimes and is working alongside partner forces such as Cambridgeshire and Thames Valley Police in joint operations involving Automatic Number Plate Recognition.

"As PCSOs, we've only been in the job for three weeks but people in rural communities had felt so disenfranchised that they're incredibly appreciative of everything we do when they see us out and about, visiting farms and rural neighbourhoods. The gratitude and support is absolutely amazing," said PCSO Lynne Wells.

"We're here to make a difference and by being seen we're doing something to reassure rural communities that their problems are our priorities," said her college, PCSO Ben Oxley.

PCSO Giovanna Traetto, said: "I used to work in Ampthill before the station there closed and it's been really great to use all my contacts and experience of country crimes and those who I know living in remote rural locations again through this unit."

"Before I became PCC there was no dedicated rural unit at all. We started with one Rural Crime Liaison Officer, working with the network I asked the National Farmers Union to set up to help police. A business case was then made for a full Rural Crime Team and Op Sentinel Rural is the result. The PCSOs will be a huge help, especially in attending meetings with both parish councils and farmers. They're so appreciative of the uplift in support from Bedfordshire Police that it's become a real two-way street, with one of their leaders in the county even training as a Special Constable!" said Commissioner Holloway.

The Rural Crime Team can be contacted by email - There is also a WhatsApp group that is open for members of the rural community to join, for more information please contact the team.
PCC welcomes the new Head of the Specials

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway has welcomed the brand new Chief Officer for the Force’s volunteer Bobbies to his post at a time when Specials are making an outstanding contribution to policing in the county.


Clint Sharp has been confirmed as the new Head of Bedfordshire Police’s Special Constabulary.


“It’s a real pleasure to welcome Clint into his new role. I cannot over estimate just how important Special Constables are to the policing of this county,” said Commissioner Holloway.


“Clint works full-time, but is supported by his employer to lead Bedfordshire’s Specials. Many people don’t realise that Clint and his colleagues have full warranted powers, just like any other police officer,” she said.


“I never dreamed I would lead the Special Constabulary when I joined in 1995 and I feel incredibly proud to have the opportunity to take the reins. In my time with the Specials I have seen a number of changes, and am proud of the way we have grown. We continue to welcome Specials to the team; in July, ten new volunteers joined and will now have further on-the-job tuition and support from experienced colleagues before they become independent,” said Clint.


“Bedfordshire’s volunteer Police Officers are some of the hardest working and most dedicated people I have had the pleasure of working with, fitting their volunteering in around their home life and other jobs. In the past month they have volunteered over 4,000 hours to help support their regular colleagues on duty, and continue to be a vital asset to Bedfordshire Police. I am looking forward to the next few months and seeing what more we can achieve in that time. I have set my team some tough targets but I’m confident we can reach them,” he added.


There are 205 Special Constables currently within Bedfordshire Police, of whom 11 are new recruits.


“A further 41 potential Special Constables will be attending training before the end of December 2017 and will be out and about serving our communities throughout this county by March 2018. We can always do with more though!” said Commissioner Holloway.


“What is truly impressive is that the average hours per officer have actually increased. Since last April, our Specials have delivered 76,163 hours on duty. In March 2017, the average hours delivered by each and every Special Officer were 32.8. This shows just how enormous a contribution they make and how vitally important Clint’s role is in leading them,” said Commissioner Holloway.

Anyone wishing to join the Special Constabulary is encouraged to apply. Special Constables must be over 18 and able to commit a minimum of 16 hours a month to the role.

Specials work closely with full-time Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s) both to patrol Bedfordshire’s rural and urban communities, and volunteer in specialist units.

To find out more about the Special Constabulary and how to apply, information is available on the
Force’s website.
PCC makes the case to bolster the frontline to Policing Minister

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway took her argument on the need for urgent funding and an uplift in officers in the county to her first meeting with the newly appointed Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, this week.

On the Minister’s first visit to Bedfordshire Police Headquarters, at his request, Mr Hurd met with the Commissioner, Chief Constable Jon Boutcher and attended a Q&A session with frontline police officers. The Minister then went on an impromptu ride-along with 999 Response officers in the North of the county.

“I am absolutely delighted that the new Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, chose to come to Bedfordshire Police to examine the facts for himself around funding, our limited resources and the threats and crime challenges which are uniquely faced by this Force in this county,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“The Minister met with me for just over an hour and told me the message had been very clearly delivered and received.

“He then joined Chief Constable, Jon Boutcher, to discuss the operational demands on Bedfordshire Police before, at his request, meeting with new police constables to discuss their feelings about policing in Bedfordshire, why they’d become officers and their hopes for the future,” added the Commissioner.

She pointed to the surge in demand in the county following the Manchester terror attacks, in terms of 999 and 101 calls, with the Force Control Room receiving comparable numbers of calls on the night before the Minister’s visit to those expected on a New Year’s Eve.

“The Minister was very receptive to hearing the facts about the change in policing being experienced here in Bedfordshire. We have just over 1,000 officers to service the policing needs of a population of 644,000 and the Force was already at full stretch,” said the Commissioner.

Detective Constable Surinder Ram, who has been working for the Force for 14 years, chose to participate in the Q&A session.

“It was a great opportunity in a safe environment for myself and colleagues to be very honest about our views and experiences in policing.

“The Minster seemed really interested and took on board our concerns and worries. It was a constructive experience and I think people are starting to understand that we need to change in order to deal with the level of demand we are facing, with the assistance of an increase in staff,” said Detective Ram.  

“What was particularly impressive was that he wanted to hear the warts and all experiences of frontline officers, who were not handpicked for their meeting with him, but simply drawn from those who happened to be on duty,” said the Commissioner.

“He asked them the extent to which their issue was around pay and, as a measure of the extraordinary commitment of Bedfordshire Police, they told him as a group that this was not about the money but the need for more colleagues to boost their frontline, better serve the public and avoid the constant criticisms of the police watchdog, HMIC.

“I hope that he could not fail to be impressed by this,” said Commissioner Holloway.