Our Specials volunteered more than 1,300 hours in just one day to help keep our county safe and tackle crime.
Around 150 of our volunteer police officers were on duty from 8am on Saturday, 20 November, using a variety of policing methods to target those who may be intent on causing harm in Essex, such as members of county lines drugs gangs, and anti-social behaviour.
And during the evening and into the early hours of Sunday, Specials trained in pursuit driving worked with regular colleagues from our North and South roads policing units and our Dog Section to disrupt, deter and arrest criminals using the A13 and A127, the M25 and roads in and around Chelmsford.
Arrests were made for dangerous driving, failing to stop for police, vehicle theft and criminal damage; drink driving; drug driving; and making off without payment. Several other motorists were reported for a variety of traffic offences.
Three more people were arrested by our Specials during the day: one on suspicion of driving while disqualified and without insurance; one for failure to appear at court for failure to provide a breath specimen; and one on suspicion of fraud by false representation. Our Specials also seized seven vehicles for having no insurance and recovered a stolen moped and a stolen car.
As well as focusing on our towns and cities, they also patrolled some of our rural areas, talking to residents and business owners about matters of concern and providing crime prevention advice where needed.
In the Epping Forest and Harlow areas, Specials carried out licensing checks, while in Colchester and Thurrock, they carried out high-visibility patrols, conducting several stop searches and speaking to residents, listening to their concerns.
Officers with specialist training to spot signs that people are planning to commit crime were deployed with a knife arch to two locations in the Colchester district. They engaged with more than 330 members of the public, reassuring them and educating them around our Project Servator style of work. Drugs, including cannabis and MDMA, and drugs paraphernalia were seized from three people who were unwilling to pass through a knife arch and numerous stop searches were carried out.
Together with a number of Volunteer Police Cadets, Cadet leaders and our volunteer Active Citizens, some of our Specials also supported the Essex Police Recruitment team in Basildon’s Eastgate Centre and also at Lakeside shopping centre. They were able to assist with incidents at both scenes.
In Basildon, they dealt with two first aid incidents in the shopping centre – handing over to ambulance crews when they arrived.
And they were on scene at Lakeside when the wider Thurrock area experienced a power outage late in the afternoon. Our officers worked with security staff to evacuate the shopping centre and make sure people were safe. There were no subsequent reports of crime, disorder or injuries.
Special Superintendent Chris Gliddon said he was proud of the turnout and the results the Specials achieved on Saturday.
“During the day, as well as carrying out high-visibility patrols, officers attended various rural events, which added to the brilliant community engagement carried out. “And then we had a very successful night, taking some dangerous offenders off the streets and safeguarding the public.” Special Superintendent Chris Gliddon
Reporting crime and anti-social behaviour
If you need to report a crime or anti-social behaviour, you can do so online at www.essex.police.uk or by ringing 101. If it's a crime in progress, ring 999.
We are always looking for more volunteers to join the Special Constabulary, whether you want to become a Community Special Constable dedicated to your local town or parish or police a little further afield.
We have 504 Specials, who volunteer at least 16 hours of their time every month to help people, keep you safe and catch criminals. Many will be active in their local communities on different days of the week and at different times. Last month alone, our Specials volunteered almost 16,000 hours. That’s an average of 31.5hrs each.
They perform the same duties as our regular police officers and, last year, they made 1,163 arrests, submitted 6,417 traffic reports and conducted 755 breath tests. They also spent 2,559 hours searching for missing people and another 2,779 dealing with mental health incidents and carried out 820 licensing checks.