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Kent Police pilot scheme searches for willing volunteers

By Mary Graham

A pilot scheme is looking to recruit volunteers with a selection of powers to work alongside police officers.

Kent Police is hoping the new personnel will work across Maidstone, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells to support the force’s community safety units and special constables.

They will wear a uniform and provide additional visibility and an extra point of contact to the public.

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The new roles have been established following the Policing and Crime Bill 2017, which gave chief constables authority to extend certain powers to volunteers.

This includes the power to request the name and address of someone committing anti-social behaviour, the authority to control traffic and place traffic signs, and being able to enter homes to save life or prevent serious damage.

Other duties include supporting officers and victims of crime. It is also hoped they will play a part in solving local problems and gathering useful evidence about criminal and nuisance behaviour.

The scheme is open to all adults aged 18 or above who are able to commit to 16 hours a month and interested in community issues.

Applicants will need to successfully pass a standard fitness test and provide a medical certificate to confirm they are in good health to perform an active role.

Recruitment has just started and closes on Friday, January 26, with interviews the following month and training starting in April.

It comes a week after Kent’s crime commissioner, Matthew Scott, announced plans for 200 more regular officers to be recruited next year.

Assistant chief constable Tony Blaker said: ‘We know from talking to many people there is a strong interest in volunteering to support the police and the community, and this is a fantastic opportunity we hope will attract people of all ages and backgrounds.

“We have a rich tradition of volunteers in Kent Police with a thriving special constabulary, a growing volunteer cadet force and a multitude of people who help in support roles.”

More at the jobs section of www.kent.police.uk.

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