Salisbury's special constables rewarded for work during novichok incident

Special Constable Team of the Year - Salisbury Community Policing Team October 2018

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 1:20pm 10th October 2018.

The city's volunteer officers have been named as the South West's Police Support 'Team of the Year'.

The Salisbury group has been honoured at the region's Special Constabulary and Police Support Volunteer Awards.

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Angus Macpherson, hosted the ceremony, with nominations from forces in Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and British Transport Police, as well as Wiltshire.

There were five categories, recognising Police Support Volunteer of the Year, Special Constable of the Year, Police Support Volunteer Team Award and Special Constabulary Team of the Year.

Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, who presented the awards and closed the ceremony, said:

"I have a huge admiration for all of the volunteers who attended this wonderful event and it is right that we honoured them.

"Every time a volunteer puts on their uniform or represents their force the public makes no distinction between them and a regular officer or member of staff. They don't see the personal sacrifices made - time away from friends and family, celebrations they may miss or the impact a role in policing can have on our emotions and mental health.

"In Wiltshire there are 290 special constables, 170 police support volunteers, over 1000 people involved in watch schemes as well as independent advisors giving up time to be a 'critical friend. I am immensely proud of them all as well as the volunteers I met today from across the region."

SALISBURY SPECIALS TEAM PICK UP AWARD:

The team of Special Constables in South Wiltshire have been recognised for the way they've stepped up in the wake of the nerve agent incidents.

The citation for their award says:

"Salisbury has recently been thrown into the national and international spotlight with the nerve agent attack in March and subsequent incident in June. It was an unprecedented incident for Wiltshire Police.

"The Special Constable based at Salisbury have been directly and indirectly involved in the police operation. Specials gave many additional hours carrying out a number of roles such as scene preservation, filling response shifts and providing community engagement and reassurance. Their contribution helped ensure that Wiltshire Police was able to respond to other incidents effectively, ensure that cordons were covered prior to the arrival of mutual aid officers and helped to ensure members of the community felt safe.

"Their commitment throughout this unprecedented period has been invaluable and they are a credit to the organisation."

Special Constables Wiltshire Police 3 Feb 2017 (Wiltshire Police)
Salisbury Specials on patrol in the city centre

One of the team Special Constable John Martin said:

"It is a fantastic achievement for the team to be recognised for their hard work for all that they've done to support Salisbury Community Policing Team. I personally take great comfort in being able to support our regular officers at Wiltshire Police."

Across Wiltshire, our Specials gave 6,800  hours of their time last month alone.

There was another award that came back to Wiltshire too - the Police Support Volunteer Team of the Year went to the county's Restorative Together team.

They help to meet the needs of victims which cannot be met through the traditional criminal justice system process - helping to give them closure to the crime.

Wiltshire's police cadets, young people who give up their time to support police activities, also helped at the event with car parking duties and signing guests in.

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