Northants PCC defends Special Constables after figures show they made fewer than 100 arrests in a year

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds
Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds has defended the increasing use of Special Constables after figures showed they made fewer than 100 arrests in a year.

A Freedom of Information request has shown that, between April 2014 and 2015, three crimes were marked as detected where the officer in charge (OIC) was a Special Constable and a further 92 were marked as disposed with a Special as OIC.

Mr Simmonds, who is aiming to have 900 Special Constables by May next year, said the volunteers played an important role in neighbourhood policing in the county.

He said: “They are not always deployed just to arrest people but to provide community reassurance and work as a team of officers.

“Sometimes the decision to make the arrest might not be the special as it is easier for full-time officers to attend court if they need to. A lot of specials have full-time jobs so it is harder for them to attend a trial if they need to.

“One of the key things about our special parish constables is providing community reassurance and providing crime prevention action rather than actually catching burglars all the time.”