five special constables complete more than 7,000 hours

10 Jun 2016 14:55 PM

specials get phablets [View Full Size]

Five special constables have been given the latest piece of high-tech police kit - after each completing more than 1,000 HOURS of service in one year.

Ryan Robinson, Alex Partlington, 22, Kevin Thompson, 20, Jon Gray, 58, and Chris Baxter, 25, have been recognised by Northumbria Police for their effort in the past year and for the value they add to the teams in which they work.

In the past 12 months they have racked up more hours of volunteering than anyone else in the organisation and have been a vital resource in policing the region.

They have played key roles in the Great North Run and the Air Show and have also been highly visible in our local communities to support neighbourhood policing teams.

And their hardwork has now seen them rack up a combined total of more than 7,000 hours in the past 12 months with Ryan alone having completed more than 2,000 hours.

Now the five specials have each been given one of the Force 'Phablets' to allow them to become an even more valuable resource.

The phablets - which are handheld mobile devices - have already been issued to every officer in the Force and allow officers to view incidents, offenders and carry out vehicle checks.

Deputy Chief Constable Winton Keenen said: "The contribution of all of our volunteers is fantastic and their commitment to protecting the people of the north east cannot be overestimated.

"They support the operations of our serving officers and enable us to deliver the best possible service to our local communities and make sure we keep those living, working or visiting our region safe.

"These five volunteers, in particular, have shown how committed they are to representing Northumbria Police and that makes me feel incredibly proud.

"We have already spoken about how we are investing in new technology to further improve the quality of service we provide and the Phablets have transformed the way we work.

"You may see officers looking at these devices out on the streets rest assured they are not playing Angry Birds or scrolling through Facebook – they are updating incidents and doing important checks to keep us safe.

"Phablets make us a more mobile and more efficient force and hopefully some of our special constables can begin to reep the same rewards of all of our frontline officers.

"We want our staff to be proud of what we do and hopefully these devices can go some way to repaying the hours of service they have given the Force."

Kevin currently works as a call handler at the Force when he is not working in his role as a special constable but he still contributed more than 1,000 hours in voluntary service last year.

He said: "I love volunteering at Northumbria Police and I am glad that the Force has recognised all the hard work we put in to keep the public safe.

"These phablets will make our role easier and enable us to carry out this role to an even higher standard which will obviously benefit the communities in which we serve.

"I have loved every minute of those hours that I have volunteered and have met some fantastic people in this role. Hopefully I can carry on to serve the people of Northumbria with pride."

All frontline officers have already been given the mobile devices - which look like phones but are slightly larger than the standard handheld device - to ensure staff are no longer tied to police stations and can spend more time in their local communities.

The devices enable them to record incidents at the scene and carry out vehicle checks without having to call the communications centre. It also means officers can be sent images of missing or wanted persons directly to them as they patrol our local communities.

It comes as Northumbria Police and Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird hosted a Volunteers Conference at the weekend to recognise and thank those who give up their own time to support policing and the work of the Commissioner.

The event, which was part of National Specials Weekend which was also last weekend, also coincides with National Volunteers' Week - aimed at celebrating volunteers. To find out more about the event follow @northumbriapol on twitter and search #NorthumbriaVolunteers #VolunteersWeek #SpecialsWeekend.