Coronavirus: Volunteer police in Hampshire clock in 4,380 hours during Covid-19 outbreak

Volunteer unpaid police officers have put in 4,380 hours during lockdown.

Hampshire police has praised employers who have allowed employees to focus on their secondary work as a special constable.

Such police officers have regular jobs and normally work unpaid in their spare time for the police. They are warranted and have powers of arrest.

It comes at a time when police forces are trying to maintain the front line while having staff and officers off self-isolating with symptoms.

Police presence in Southsea on March 27. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Between March 23, the day lockdown was announced, and April 20, 129 special constables in Hampshire police have put in 547 shifts.

Assistant chief constable Scott Chilton said: ‘We are very grateful and would like to place on record our thanks, for the support of employers who are releasing members of their staff so they can fulfil their roles as special constables during these unprecedented times.

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‘As a constabulary we have developed detailed plans to ensure we can adapt and change our response as is necessary to meet the needs of our communities as this pandemic continues.

Hampshire police assistant chief constable Scott Chilton. Picture: Malcolm Wells (180320-8687)

‘So it is a great comfort to know that so many employers are willing to show their support by allowing our special constables to take to the frontline when we need to call upon them. Thank you.

‘Special constables play a vital role in our force throughout the year and we are very lucky to have such dedicated people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ready to serve when they are needed most.

‘Unprecedented times requires unprecedented action and we know there are a lot of people who are ready to help should we need it.

‘There is a tremendous amount of community spirit out there and I would like to thank you all for doing what you can to help.'

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