Volunteers will keep communities well represented if calibre of regular officers changes with new entry standards, says DCC Rob Beckley.
Special Constables could further enhance the richness and diversity of the Police Service in future – if the proposals in Winsor II are ultimately progressed.
DCC Rob Beckley (pictured), ACPO Lead on Citizens in Policing, predicted that the recommendations to raise the regular entry qualifications to three A-Levels could have an impact on the diversity of candidates choosing to join – but volunteers would ultimately help to maintain community representation.
“Who knows how the dynamic of Winsor will play out?”
He also pointed out that the proposals in the pay and conditions review also included recommendations to allow direct entry at inspector and superintendent level for graduates.
DCC Beckley, said: “Who knows how the dynamic of Winsor will play out?
“We should not underestimate what the Special Constabulary can provide in the mix of policing the streets and the depth and breadth of experience these officers bring.”
The ACPO Lead said that he appreciated the logic of introducing direct entry and minimum entry standards but added that police forces needed to reflect their communities.
DCC Beckley was speaking after the Special Constabulary National Conference in Manchester, where specials of all ranks joined senior policing figures.
The event saw key themes debated, including how to maintain national standards in the Special Constabulary as policing became more localised, and how the volunteer officers would fit in with the government’s reform agenda.
Delegates also heard from senior officers from the Territorial Army about the potential for joint training for specials and members of the Royal Military Police Reserve.