At Essex Police, we are extremely proud and grateful for the 1800 people who volunteer their valuable spare time across Essex to support our communities, keep people safe and help us catch criminals.
There are many volunteer opportunities available at Essex Police, whether it’s serving your community as a Special Constable, providing crime prevention advice to your neighbours as an Active Citizen or supporting young people as part of our Volunteer Police Cadets scheme.
Find out more about some of our volunteer roles below:
Special Constables are volunteer Police Officers. They have the same police powers, uniforms and equipment as regular Police Officers but sacrifice their free time on a voluntary basis, organising their busy personal lives, day jobs and other commitments around police duties.
Police Support Volunteers (or PSV) sit alongside Special Constables and our Volunteer Police Cadets. Their contribution to helping our communities is invaluable, along with the support they provide to police officers and staff.
PSVs are recruited by us as a police service, and in most cases undergo vetting, dependent on the role they are volunteering to do. They are managed and supported by police officers or staff and are accountable and responsible for the activities they undertake for us.
There are a wide range of support roles available including some with specialist teams, including Fraud Prevention Team, Hate Crime Team, Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) Team and our Cyber and Digital Forensic Team. This includes help with events hosted as part of Essex Watch and supporting our museum.
Active Citizens is a popular role for our Police Support Volunteers.
Essex Police Museum volunteers
There are currently 12 volunteers who support the curator in the day to day running of our Essex Police museum. There are three teams: Public Openings, Collections and Groups. Volunteers can stay in one team or work across multiple teams.
The Public Openings team assist our visitors when we open to the public, doing tasks such as operating the till, answering questions and welcoming visitors. Their shifts are either morning, afternoon or the whole day, depending on their preference and availability. We ask for a minimum of one shift a month but you are welcome to do more than this. The Public Openings team may also help us at external events, like fetes and fun days.
The Collections team help catalogue and maintain our collection. Typically they will focus on one area, such photographs, objects or archives, but can work across the whole collection. Tasks for the Collections volunteers include labelling items, keeping databases up to date, digitising items and responding to research enquiries from the public. A shift is usually between 3 hours and a full day, depending on their preference and availability. All our Collections volunteers come in once a week.
The Groups team facilitate all of our group bookings, except schools. These groups are varied, ranging from scouts and brownies through to U3A. Visits can be during the day or in the evenings but only on weekdays and typically last a couple of hours. Our Groups volunteers may operate the till, serve refreshments, answer questions and give a short talk on the history of Essex Police or a buildings tour.
Our Active Citizens play a vital role in making the area in which we live, work, or visit, safer and less vulnerable to crime and antisocial behaviour.
They do this by working with the community and through supporting community policing teams in distributing crime prevention advice. They advise people on what they can do to secure their homes, protect their belongings, and prevent becoming a victim of crime. They’ll also support our community policing teams with proactive days of action and lend their administrative skills and support to those organising the events.
Many of our Active Citizens work with our community policing teams, but there are also opportunities to work alongside some of our specialist teams too. These include our Fraud Prevention Team, Hate Crime Team, Management of Sexual Offenders and Violent Offenders (MOSOVO) Team and our Cyber and Digital Forensic Team.
Essex Watch is the collective name for a variety of specialised Watch schemes within Essex, organised by Essex Police.
Essex Watch schemes are about people with similar interests, or activities, getting together to help reduce crime.
They are free police initiatives run for the benefit of those involved, which, depending on the scheme, can eventually be run locally by the members themselves.
Our Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) is all about working together with our partners to ensure our communities stay safe. The Essex Police Chief Constable accredits staff of our partner organisations, such as Council Street Wardens, shopping centre security staff and traffic management personnel with powers to help reduce antisocial behaviour. In addition CSAS staff are trained to support the community at events providing traffic management.
This includes tackling issues such as graffiti, litter, abandoned cars and other forms of antisocial behaviour.
Our Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) programme aims to prepare young people in our communities, aged between 13 and 18, for their future. The programme offers young people living in Essex the opportunity to develop qualifications, enhance inter-personal skills and confidence, and achieve a sense of pride through fun activities and supporting their community.
We have Cadet Units in Basildon, Braintree, Castle Point and Rochford, Chelmsford and Maldon, Clacton, Colchester, Epping Forest, Harlow, Harwich, Southend, Thurrock and Uttlesford. Find out more on our Volunteer Police Cadet page or by following our Police Cadets on Twitter.
Independent custody visitors (ICV)
Independent custody visitors monitor the standards of police custody suites and safeguard the welfare of detainees. The scheme is run by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s office and appointed volunteers visit custody suites at any time of day or night, to check on the treatment of detainees, the conditions in which they are held and that their rights and entitlements are being observed.
The scheme is run by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's office. Their team of Dog Welfare Visitors inspect the working conditions of the dogs and provide reports to the office. Their visits are unannounced on random days and times to ensure impartiality.
The team helps to facilitate communication between those involved in a crime or a conflict, such as neighbour disputes, allowing victims to ask questions and receive meaningful reparation for harm caused.
If you are over 18 years of age, have been a resident in the United Kingdom for more than three years and are interested in volunteering within your community or in any of our varied volunteering roles then please get in touch and register your interest.
All volunteer opportunities are offered, subject to applicants passing Essex Police Vetting.
Are you a former police officer, special constable or member of police staff?
If you have previous policing experience or working within the policing family and want to volunteer with us, your valuable skills and experience will help to increase our resilience and allow us to be even more flexible in providing the best service we can to the county during this unprecedented time.
We’d also like to hear from you so, again, please get in touch via our register your interest form and find out what opportunities are available for you.