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Police volunteers celebrated at thank you event

Police volunteers celebrated at thank you event

PCC John Tizard with volunteer Phil Dickson-Earle and DCC Vajzovic
PCC John Tizard with volunteer Phil Dickson-Earle and DCC Vajzovic

Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard and Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) Dan Vajzovic thanked more than 100 police volunteers for their work at an event at Bedfordshire Police Headquarters on Monday (17 June).

The aim of the event was to recognise those who go the extra mile for their communities. It also marked the 40th anniversary of National Volunteers Week. 

 

More than 100 volunteers across Bedfordshire Police and the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner had their efforts celebrated. 

Police and Crime Commissioner John Tizard said: “Volunteering is a great and important form of social action. It benefits society and communities. It is important to policing and the wider social justice system.

“We are very fortunate that some many people volunteers to support policing and in turn their communities across Bedfordshire

“It is fantastic to celebrate and thank the over 750 volunteers who contribute to making Bedfordshire safer.  Their selfless commitment whether as a member of a neighbourhood or speed watch or a special constable or a police cadet or a member of the scrutiny panel or as an independent custody visitor – and this list could go on and on – deserves the thanks of everyone in our county.

“I am keen to ensure that all our volunteers are valued and supported, and that they all have access to training, welfare support and advice. I also hope that we can expand the roles and numbers of volunteers so that their impact on behalf of us all is maximised. I am particularly keen to introduce volunteers to advocate on behalf of victims and others caught up in the criminal justice system.

“However, the contribution of volunteers should supplement and complement the work of paid staff and officers. Volunteers should never replace paid employees.”

The volunteers recognised included those who provide independent scrutiny of the use of Stop and Search and Use of Force across Bedfordshire and work to improve the community’s confidence and trust in the police.  

 

PCC-with-Special-Constable-Rob-Ward-and-DCC-Vajzovic
PCC-with-Special-Constable-Rob-Ward-and-DCC-Vajzovic

The panel members review body worn footage and provide feedback to the officers involved in relation to legal requirements and their manner and tone in dealing with people. 

 

Other volunteers celebrated on the night included Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) who can call at Bedfordshire Police custody suites unannounced at any time. The ICVs check on the welfare of people detained in custody by the police.  

 

Also present were volunteers from the Independent Custody Scrutiny Panel. This panel investigate matters such as disproportionality, use of strip searches and use of anti-rip clothing.

Malgorzata Poczatek is one of the volunteers for the Independent Custody  Scrutiny Panel who attended the event. She said: “I have recently joined independent Custody Scrutiny Panel. For me, as a Psychology student, it means I can gain some experience in the field of criminal behaviour/offenders. It also means that I may be able to make a difference in helping to improve fair treatment of people who are detained. I’m currently working with young people with special education needs in a college setting, so I hope my knowledge in this field may help police to better understand the needs and how to deal with a person who is on a spectrum or have severe learning difficulties. 

 

“I think being a volunteer and sitting on the panel is a great opportunity to learn from others and share your expertise which will lead to improved service and give the public reassurance and trust in police.”

Volunteers from Bedfordshire Police who attended the event included police Cadets, Special Constables, and education, diversion and cohesion volunteers.

 

Deputy Chief Constable (DCC) for Bedfordshire Police, Dan Vajzovic, said: “Whilst we have the largest number of police officers that we have ever had, the demand for our services and the complexity of that demand is increasing.

PCC-with-volunteer-Malgorzata-Poczatek-and-DCC-Vajzovic
PCC with volunteer Malgorzata Poczatek and DCC Vajzovic

 

“It was a huge privilege to meet so many volunteers this evening and to hear first-hand about all the vital work that they do to help us keep Bedfordshire safe. The impact they have on local communities is invaluable.  

 

“Their loyalty is outstanding and deserves recognition. Without their input in supporting our operational delivery and in acting as our critical friends, the service we offer would be greatly diminished.” 

 

For more information about Bedfordshire Police volunteers visit the force’s website. 

 

For more information about Use of Force, Stop and Search, ICVs and the ICDCP please visit the OPCC website. 

 

Alternatively, please contact pcc@beds.police.uk 

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