Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, spent some time with Bedfordshire Police community volunteers to show his appreciation and to celebrate the end of National Volunteers Week 2021.
At the end of National Volunteers Week, the Commissioner held two online meetings with volunteers from:
- Signpost, who offer free and confidential support to anyone affected by crime, whether it has been reported to the police or not.
- Independent Custody Visitors (ICV’s), who check on the treatment of detainees in police stations. The PCC has a statutory duty to maintain an Independent Custody Visiting Scheme for Bedfordshire.
- Dog Welfare visitors from the Dog Welfare scheme who volunteer their time to check on the welfare of dogs in police care. The visits help to ensure that these highly trained working dogs are fit, healthy and transported in clean and properly equipped vehicles.
- Speed Watch volunteers who seek to promote safer driving in local communities
- Street Watch volunteers support better neighbourhood by being visible and engaging with neighbours with any issues in the area.
- Horse Watch volunteers patrol areas which police find difficult to access, based on current crime reports for local areas.
This was a unique opportunity for the volunteers to meet the PCC and showcase their work and a chance for the PCC to thank them for their contribution to the community. It also gave the PCC valuable insights into their work.
Helen Armitage from Signpost said “The newly elected Commissioner’s decision to meet the many volunteers who give their time to Bedfordshire police was most welcome. It is gratifying to know how much the PCC values the contribution they make, and he acknowledged that the service is enhanced by what we as volunteers are doing. He explained the very real challenges currently facing the police service, particularly in the urban areas, but reassured volunteers that he was determined to ensure that rural areas got their fair share of coverage, particularly with their community policing teams. It was a very welcome opportunity for volunteers to put their questions to the Commissioner, and to know that we are heard and appreciated.
The Commissioner said “The OPCC and Bedfordshire Police could not operate in the way we do without the support of our many volunteers. They give the most precious gift anyone can; their time and for that we are truly grateful to each and every individual”.
The PCC also spent time with Special Constables out on patrol. Having worked as a Special Constable himself, the PCC wanted to give back his time to them and show his appreciation.
Bedfordshire Police are recruiting for community Special Constables, you can find out more about this here”
You can find out more detail on the volunteering schemes below:
- Signpost – https://www.signpostforbedfordshire.com/
- Independent Dog Welfare scheme – https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/Get-involved/Watch-Schemes/Dog-Watch#c306066b
- Independent Custody Visitors – https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/About-us/Transparency/Independent-custody-visitors#c306066b
- Street Watch – https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/Get-involved/Watch-Schemes/Street-Watch#c306066b
- Speed Watch – https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/Get-involved/Watch-Schemes/Speed-watch#c306066b