National Volunteers’ Week started on the 1st June 2017 and Thames Valley Police celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Police Support Volunteer Scheme.
In 1997, Thames Valley Police had their first Police Support Volunteers (PSV) join. In 2017, they now have 539 PSVs who, along with 244 Police Cadets and 491 Special Constables, give up their own time in order to help the police force keep Thames Valley safe. Thames Valley PSVs range in age and background, they are everything from accountants to app designers and translators to forensics support. The roles that a PSV can do is diverse, for example they can be puppy socialisers, role players for training exercises and neighbor dispute mediators, to name just a few of the roles available. The Thames Valley PSVs have a wide range of skills that enable them to be successful in their roles.
As Thames Valley Police marks two decades of having its PSVs, it has also joined in the celebrations for Volunteers’ Week, praising all of their volunteers, including Police Cadets and Special Constables. The Police Cadets are aged between 13-15 and are based at units across Thames Valley, this role helps to encourage young people into policing and community issues. The Special Constables work alongside regular officers who patrol local neighborhoods and engage with communities, providing them with important re-assurance and crime prevention advice.
In the last year volunteers have given a combined total of almost 200,000 hours of their time in order to support the work that the force does.
ACC Nikki Ross, force lead for Local Policing, said: “There are all types of volunteers who work alongside us to keep the communities’ safe in Thames Valley and they should be recognised for their efforts and hard work every day, not just during Volunteers’ Week.
“This week is, however, a great opportunity to remind people of the type of roles available should they wish to take them on. The opportunities are endless and the support is so gratefully received, whatever form it takes.
“If you have some time on your hands and want to make a difference in your communities and the lives of others, please discuss the opportunities with your local neighbourhood team”.
Volunteers’ Week is part of the force’s Active Communities campaign, that is focused on encouraging more people to get active and get involved in policing matters and other issues that may be affecting their community.
ACC Ross added: “You don’t have to volunteer directly with Thames Valley Police to be active within your community. Whether it’s joining your local Neighbourhood Watch, getting involved with your Community Forum or simply attending one of your local Have Your Say meetings you can work with us to help keep your community safe.”
Thames Valley Police was the second force to introduce PSVs. Twenty years ago, one of the first Thames Valley PSVs, Muriel Parsons joined and she continues to volunteer with the force on a regular basis. Muriel currently helps out at the Sulhamstead Police Training Centre, where she assists with acquisitioning artefacts for the Thames Valley Police Museum and helps on the reception desk. Muriel is also a coordinator within the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
Muriel said: “Volunteering for TVP opened up a whole new world to me; I hadn't even been into a Police Station before! It was a far cry from my day job in London, in TV Post Production. Helping has enriched my life and thank you for that.”
For further information, including how to become a TVP volunteer, please see the Volunteers’ Week page and follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter using #volunteersweek.
Are you are interested with a career with Thames Valley Police? Please click here.
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