Did you know our Specials are volunteers, with the policing powers of regular police officers?
During Volunteers’ Week, we’re celebrating the dedication of all our volunteers and National Specials Weekend is an opportunity to showcase their work.
We currently have 300 Specials and many of them were out at the weekend (Friday 2 June to Sunday 4 June) supporting their communities as usual, giving 893 hours of their spare time to help people and keep you safe.
Across Essex, they attended 161 incidents, carried out 305 hours of extra patrols and assisted in 15 arrests. Several were also on duty at Colchester Police Station open day, visited by 2,700 people.
“As well as special constables on our community policing teams, we also have several teams of specialist Specials who are dedicated to supporting our Roads Policing teams, working alongside their regular colleagues to keep our county’s roads safe all-year round. “National Specials Weekend gives us an opportunity to highlight what these officers can do, given their specialist skills and training. They led two operations, one to target vehicle-related anti-social behaviour in the Lakeside area and a second focusing on passengers who think they can drive home from Stansted Airport while still under the influence of drink or drugs. “By detecting a number of serious offences, our officers may well have prevented a number of severe or fatal injuries which could have resulted had they not done so. “Our operations remain ongoing and anyone who chooses to drive on the roads of Essex should think twice before threatening the safety of themselves or their fellow road-users.” Special Inspector Martin Beale, of our Roads Policing Unit
On Friday evening, Specials with our Operational Policing Command led an operation targeting criminals using the roads network in the Lakeside and Grays area.
They also kept an eye out for motorists committing Fatal Four offences – speeding, drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt – in support of Vision Zero, the ambition to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on Essex Roads by 2040.
One van, stopped on suspicion of being over-laden was seized under Section 165A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the driver reported for having no insurance to drive it.
Another driver, found to have a provisional licence, also had their vehicle seized and was reported for driving otherwise in accordance with licence.
And one driver was reported for careless driving following a collision near South Ockendon.
On Saturday, Specials from Operational Policing Command patrolled Stansted Airport and its car parks, also setting up a vehicle checkpoint, following concerns that some drivers are leaving the airport are under the influence of drink or drugs.
One person was arrested on suspicion of drug-driving after collecting passengers from the airport.
A car belonging to a family of four was issued with a prohibition notice after officers spotted it had two bald tyres. Because the car was unroadworthy, it was not allowed to be driven any further and they had to make alternative travel arrangements.
Another family of four also had to make alternative arrangements because officers spotted a 12-year-old sharing a seat with a relative in their three-seater van.
During the two operations, a total of five motorists were reported for speeding, another 14 for endorsable offences such as driving while using a mobile phone and six for non-endorsable offences, such as not using a seatbelt. A total of four vehicles were seized, three for not being insured and one on behalf of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
A total of eight drivers were breath-tested and two given roadside drugs wipes.
Leon Dias is the Special Superintendent for Operational Policing and was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to policing in last year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
“Joining the Specials is one of the best things I have ever done. If you are thinking about volunteering as a Special, I would recommend it 100% as it’s a fantastic volunteering experience. “This weekend, we wanted not only to recognise the amazing work our volunteer officers do but showcase they skills they acquire by volunteering with us and receiving specialist training. “The Specials who worked on the two operations had been trained in skills ranging from Response and Advanced driving to the use of Stingers and specialist dashboard cameras. “The success of this weekend is a testament to both the commitment of Essex Police to train and equip its volunteers and to the officers for investing their own time in learning new skills and making full use of them.” Special Superintendent Leon Dias
Specials have the same powers as regular officers and dedicate at least 16 hours a month to policing, alongside their other commitments.