The Metropolitan Police Service’s special constables have given more than 100,000 hours of their time in March and April to help the Met respond to coronavirus.
Special constables are working alongside police officers to enforce the lockdown rules, are out on patrols, and engaging with the public to keep London safe.
The Met has seen a significant increase in the hours special constables are volunteering to support the police during this unprecedented time. The special constables doubled their hours in April compared with the same month a year ago – last month they worked 61,779 combined hours compared with 29,645 in April 2019.
Metropolitan Special Constabulary Chief Officer John Conway, said: “Now more than ever, special constables are a vital and valued part of the Met family, giving up their own time in order to help police London. It’s been a huge credit to every one of them to step up and give back even more to their communities during this unprecedented time.”
In addition to their already challenging day jobs in the Met, staff members who are volunteering as special constables are giving up extra time to help their operational colleagues.
Met Health and Safety Advisor Gary Shepherd has been a special constable since 1996. He said: “I have supported the Met during this period by doing my full time role as a health and safety advisor and by increasing my volunteering hours. As a special constable I attend incidents within the Transport for London tunnel network, undertake Covid-19 duties and provide support to other Met operations.
“The current Covid-19 climate has demonstrated that officers of all ranks, police staff and volunteers will always step up to the challenge and excel in the face of uncertainty and difficult circumstances. I am proud to be a special constable and have the privilege of working alongside some amazing and inspiring people.”
The Met has also seen a number of former officers return as special constables. They have signed up to give at least 16 hours a month of their time to keep communities safe.
Former Police Constable Chris Neal returned to the Met as a special after 18 months away. He said: “I worked for the Met for 11 years and had been thinking about returning as a special. The Commissioner’s call was the catalyst for me to pick up the phone and sign up. I had a sense of duty to do my bit during this pandemic and put my skills and experience to good use.”
The Met is currently recruiting and you can join us as a constable, a special constable or a volunteer. If you would like to do something real then join the service at www.met.police.uk/careers/
Although special constables are not paid, the training and duties they experience will give them unique experiences, new and valuable transferable skills, plus a huge sense of achievement in doing something for their community. The Met will pay expenses so special constables are not out of pocket for their volunteering and giving something tangible back to their community. They also receive free travel on Transport for London.