Open letter from Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd
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Police chiefs are writing to businesses in Hertfordshire today, International Volunteers Day, to encourage them to join a scheme that supports Special Constables in the county.
Under the Employer Supported Policing scheme, businesses work with Hertfordshire Constabulary to offer their employees flexibility to volunteer as Special Constables. In turn the business receives a highly trained and skilled member of staff who still carries out their usual "day job" but with the added benefits of police training and experience.
As volunteer police officers, Specials have all the same powers as regular officers - including the power to arrest. They develop a huge variety of transferable skills, such as resilience, customer focus and communication, and these skills are applied back in their day job.
Supporters of the ESP scheme in Hertfordshire include Tesco, Which?, McMullen Brewery and Sons and district and borough Councils.
In the open letter sent to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Hertfordshire Growth Hub, Chief Constable Charlie Hall and Mr Lloyd call on businesses to register on the scheme and work proactively together to help the local community.
Chief Constable Charlie Hall said: “Many small and large businesses across Hertfordshire are already benefitting from ESP and we’d like to invite even more to register. The scheme is a fantastic way for businesses to show their support to policing and the local community. Our Special Constables play a vital role in preventing, reducing and tackling crime. By supporting them, you’ll be helping to make the community safer.
“It’s a very flexible scheme. For example, whilst some businesses offer the employee/Special Constable unpaid leave, others offer paid leave. Each business can choose the level of involvement to suit their individual circumstances and we’ll work with you to make sure you’re happy.
“If you’re a business owner, I strongly encourage you to register today. There is no formal contract and it’s quick and easy to do.”
David Lloyd, Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for businesses to give back to their communities, while rewarding their staff for volunteering.
“There are many transferable skills which will be valuable to policing, but also workers will gain confidence and attributes which can be used in their salaried jobs.
“I hope you will encourage your employees to become a Special and be part of the tremendous service they provide.”
Today is International Volunteers Day and we are using this opportunity to invite businesses in Hertfordshire to register on our Employer Supported Policing scheme (ESP). The scheme is a powerful and innovative way for employers and the police service to work proactively together for the benefit of the local community.
Businesses who are registered to ESP work with us to offer their employees supported options to volunteer as Special Constables. In turn they receive a highly trained and skilled member of staff who still carries out their usual "day job" at their workplace but with the added benefits of police training and experience. They volunteer a minimum of 16 hours a month, usually in their own time.
What is a Special Constable?
A Special Constable is a volunteer police officer. They have all the same powers as regular police officers, including the power to arrest, and they play a vital role in preventing, reducing and tackling crime. All of them receive full and extensive training.
How does ESP work?
ESP is a flexible scheme that encourages businesses to support Special Constables who work for them. Each business can choose the level of involvement to suit their individual circumstances and offer a set amount of paid/unpaid time off where the employee can carry out their volunteering duties during normal working hours. Once we've agreed on an option, you will be fully registered on the scheme which formalises the agreement, and our ESP specialist will advise you on what happens next around promoting the scheme within your company.
What are the benefits?
Special Constables undertake training to develop transferable skills in seven core areas which they can transfer back to their day job. These are personal responsibility, resilience, customer focus, respect for diversity, effective communication, problem solving and teamwork.
Other benefits for the business include an enhanced corporate social responsibility and improved staff morale and performance.
Both small and large businesses across Hertfordshire are currently benefitting from ESP and we want you to join in too. The businesses you represent can help play a role in keeping Hertfordshire safe. We would be grateful if you could share this invitation with your membership.