As part of Volunteers’ Week, Essex Police recognised local businesses for their support of Special Constables and celebrated the work they do.
At an event held at Essex Police Headquarters on Tuesday 7 June, six organisations who signed up to the Essex Police Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic were thanked for their help and commitment to serving their communities. We also thanked seven other organisations who continue to provide ongoing support.
“The police are the public and the public are the police. Those principles remain as relevant today as they were then and never is truer than when we talk about the Specials and Employer Supported Policing. You are literally members of the local community who put on a uniform and help to keep people safe” said Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan when speaking at the event.
ACC Nolan went on to say: “At Essex Police, we are extremely proud of all our colleagues, be they regular officers, staff or Specials, and particularly grateful to people from our communities who volunteer, giving up their time to help support and protect our local people.
“We are very proud that the roles available to our Specials is so varied from Local Policing, Roads Policing to our Marine Unit and Investigative Teams.
“We are here today to recognise the Employer Supported Policing scheme and the businesses and volunteers who make it possible. Both Essex Police and the people of Essex are thankful to the many businesses that support policing by providing their employees time off to be a Special Constable. I must also thank Essex Chamber of Commerce who support us and many of our local businesses in making the most of the ESP scheme.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex attended the event and said “I am really pleased to be here today to show my appreciation for the businesses and organisations who have signed up to the Employer Supported Policing Scheme. They are not only helping to make their communities safer, they are equipping their employees with valuable skills which can be of benefit to us all.
“Special Constables come from all walks of life, from communities across our county and from a huge range of professions and backgrounds.
“Each of them, when they have completed their training and put their uniform on, can make a significant contribution to community safety in Essex. I want to see a Special in every community, working alongside full time officers to help make Essex a safer place for everyone.”
What is Employer Supported Policing (ESP) ?
Les Hawkins, our Specials Supported Policing Coordinator, explains: “ESP is a national scheme. It is a partnership between employers, their staff and the police, whereby businesses are asked to give paid time off to employees to undertake their volunteering duties. The scheme is real partnership working, benefiting the business, the police and of course local communities. It offers a great opportunity for businesses to actively get involved in their communities.
“We work closely with all the businesses signed up to the scheme to make sure that the time taken by Special Constables doesn’t impact them negatively. In return, the transferable skills their staff can bring to a workplace is invaluable. I want to thank all those who recently registered with the scheme for their support. We are grateful for all the businesses signed up - their contribution is instrumental to their local community.”
What are the benefits of ESP?
Currently, 53 organisations are signed up to the scheme and are all benefiting from the skills and experience their staff bring back into the workplace.
“I really enjoy being a Special with Essex Police as part of the Canvey Island Community Police Team” said Special Inspector Johnathon Cuthbertson. “Through the ESP scheme I am able to carry out my duties as a Special during working hours, enabling me to still have the weekends for family and friends.”
Inspector Cuthbertson has been a Special for five years and his employer Essex County Council was one of the businesses recognised at the event. Inspector Cuthbertson went on to say “with the support of Essex County Council I am able to dedicate 12 working days a year to my duties as a Special. Through my work at Essex County Council I have a great working knowledge of the different types of local support available to people and how to access it. This is something I can use in my role as a Special to help someone in need or provide some advice to a colleague. In return, the training and skills I have developed through my role as a Special are an asset in my day job. This allows me to help more people, whether that be as a Special Inspector or as an Operations Manager.”
Essex County Council were among the businesses at the event who were recognised for their continued support. Nicole Wood, their representative at the event, said: “The Employer Supportive Policing scheme enables us to give even more back into the community. We value our staff and want them to be able to grow and develop even if that is outside of the County Council. This then allows them to grow in their roles at work, too. Confidence is very important and skills in leadership, conflict management and decision-making all help, as it can be applied back to their full-time professional lives.”
Special Constable Mark Lawrence also works at Essex County Council. He said: “ESP is a wonderful idea; without it I would struggle to put that extra bit back into the community. I join the Special Constabulary six years ago and I absolutely love it.”
Essex Police has the second largest Special Constabulary in the country after the Metropolitan Police, with 466 serving officers. Specials have the same powers as regular officers and those in the ESP scheme in the last six months have carried out 1,267 hours of employer supported policing which was over 174 duties. (January – May 2022).
What you do with your spare time can change lives, find out more about the Special Constabulary. Find out more about the ESP scheme in Essex.
The event thanked the following businesses who registered over the last two years during the pandemic:
- HDI Global
- Pathways Care Consortium
- Sky UK
- TPM Medical Training and Event Services Ltd
- Valitor Ltd
The below businesses were thanked for their continued support:
- Birketts LLP
- British Institute of Kitchen, Bathrooms and Bathroom Installation
- Colchester County High School for Girls
- Essex County Council
- Essex Police
- And a special thank you to Essex Chambers of Commerce for their continued support.
When asked about ESP Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chamber of Commerce, said: “Essex Chambers of Commerce are proud to work with and raise awareness of the Employer Supported Policing initiative. Essex has the second largest Specials voluntary constabulary in the country, an amazing achievement by Essex Police and the local businesses involved. It’s an honour to be recognised and we are proud to continue our support.”