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Police volunteer scheme rolled out across Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:42 29 June 2018

The Local Policing Volunteers scheme is to be extended across the county Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The Local Policing Volunteers scheme is to be extended across the county Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Archant

Volunteers will support police teams by becoming the “eyes and ears” of their communities under a new scheme being rolled out across Suffolk.

Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSuffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Following a successful pilot, the Local Policing Volunteer project – which was launched in Woodbridge, Eye, Stanton, Beccles and Long Melford earlier this year – is now open to the entire county.

Under the scheme, volunteers patrol their neighbourhoods, relaying information back to the police about crimes and suspicious activity.

They have no powers to arrest, and are told not to put themselves at risk.

Places are still available for those interested in signing up, bosses said.

Assistant chief constable Rachel Kearton Picture: GREGG BROWNAssistant chief constable Rachel Kearton Picture: GREGG BROWN

“Volunteers are extremely important for the constabulary and we recognise the tremendous contribution they make,” said Rachel Kearton, assistant chief constable at Suffolk police.

“As a force, we actively encourage the public to report any concerns about what they see and hear in their communities and the trial of this new scheme is a welcome addition in helping the communities across the county stay safer.

“It’s important to stress the volunteers will not be involved in any official tasking or deployments.”

She added: “They will be the eyes and ears of their local community to report any unusual activity to uniformed officers who will then take the appropriate action.”

To get involved, volunteers must be over 18 and can work up to 20 hours a week.

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “When I was re-elected two years ago I made a commitment to expand the network of volunteers and special constables throughout the county.

“The Local Policing Volunteer Scheme is a very good example of communities helping themselves and being the eyes and ears to what’s going on.

“It’s going back to what traditional policing was all about – the police are the public and the public are the police. It’s a two-way process.”

He added: “This is a very exciting scheme. I’m very pleased that all six areas in the pilot are on board with it and delighted to see it extended across the county.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops and would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.”

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