Village police post to welcome eight volunteer officers

Olly Martins
Olly Martins

Policing in rural North Bedfordshire is to get an important boost - thanks to the Special Constabulary.

From Sunday, February 15 Riseley Police Post will become home to eight volunteer officers with dedicated responsibility for policing the village and surrounding areas.

The officers, including a Special Inspector, Special Sergeant and six Special Constables, will share day and night shifts as a dedicated resource to work with the communities to solve local issues.

They will be led with by a retired police officer with more than three decades of experience, S/Insp Nigel Denham, and focus on key local issues like speeding, burglary and wildlife crime.

Riseley, which is already a base to three Police Community Support Officers, will also act as a training hub for other Special Constables.

The arrangements mean Riseley Police Post will open to the public for a number of hours every Wednesday.

Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins will meet the Special Constables before they go on their first patrol to thank them for their support. He and Chief Constable, Colette Paul, are on a mission to double the number of Specials in Bedfordshire to 500 by spring 2017.

The Riseley initiative follows a decision to deploy Specials from Leighton Buzzard and Biggleswade Police Stations late last year and there are similar plans to deploy from Houghton Regis police post and Flitwick this year.

It follows an in-depth report into the delivery of rural police services by the force’s Volunteering Strategy Group, chaired by Supt Paul Schoon.

He said: “Officers working from our rural stations are volunteers who have a keen interest in the local communities they serve. It makes sense for them, and residents, and is another great example of Bedfordshire Police protecting the public and fighting crime, together.”

Mr Martins added: “I am incredibly proud of the progress being made to recruit more Specials and the incredible contribution they are making to policing in across our county. I know the public will welcome this increased high visibility, uniformed presence in rural north Bedfordshire.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Special, a full-time officer, staff member, PCSO, service volunteer, cadet or paid student intern can find details on the force website at www.bedfordshire.police.uk