64 volunteer police officers in the West Midlands have, for the first time, been paid for their work.
Special Constables work for free, but many put in longer hours during lockdown and so the Police and Crime Commissioner decided to recognise that fact by giving them a single one off payment.
David Jamieson wanted to recognise the efforts of the Specials who went above and beyond at a time when the force was stretched.
£150 has been given to each volunteer officer for every 16 hours they worked over their normal shifts. It is thought to be the first time Specials have been paid for their work anywhere in the country.
One Special Constable, SC Will Mott was furloughed from his normal job and stepped up and volunteered 100 hours as a member of the Shirley Neighbourhood Team in 2 weeks.
The Special Constabulary has been a huge help as West Midlands Police responds to COVID-19, not least due to the large number of officers self-isolating earlier on in the pandemic. During this time, volunteer police officers were able to add extra capacity to aid the force in a time of need.
In total there are 220 Special Constables. The period for which Special Constables could claim the extra payment ran from the period 23rd March – 30th June 2020 and saw a larger take up than originally anticipated.
The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “Our Special Constables play a key role in the work of the police all year round and are at the heart of the policing family.
“In this difficult year, our Special Constables really stepped up to the plate and gave the force the additional resilience that it needed at the height of the first coronavirus wave. Without them, we would have had huge gaps in the level of service we were providing to the public.
“That’s why I felt it only right to put measures in place to find a way to thank our Special Constables who went above and beyond for all that they were doing in helping us catch criminals and keep the public safe.”
Meanwhile, Nicola Price, Director of People, said: “This has been an extraordinary year and it was only right that we acknowledge the wonderful contribution our Special Constabulary has made during these testing times.
“There are so many stories of our Specials stepping up and doing extra hours so that they could contribute to our Covid 19 policing response. In some cases we had colleagues from the Special Constabulary volunteering for a full working week while their regular employment paused.
“We are so very grateful for their efforts and we thank all of our Special Constabulary colleagues for their work at this time.”