Tom Brake hails the work of local police volunteers

February 18, 2011 1:09 PM

Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake has praised the work of local police volunteers after spending a Friday night shadowing three Special Constables on the streets of Sutton. Tom said: "Having spent time with these volunteers I can really appreciate the great work which they do each and every day in helping to keep our community safe."

Special Constables are volunteers in the Police Force who work on average between sixteen and twenty five hours per month. Though not full-time members, they possess the same powers as regular officers, including the right to stop and search and arrest troublemakers. In Sutton, in addition to providing extra support during peak periods such as Friday evenings, they also play a vital role in local events such as the Carshalton fireworks display and local fairs and fetes.

Tom also recognised the extent of the collaboration between different volunteer groups in the community. He said: "Over the course of the evening we worked closely with the street pastors who were out helping local residents with whatever problems they had, if they were in distress and in need of someone to talk to, or even just in need of help to get home."

Since being established in 2005, Sutton Street Pastors have worked with the police in the town centre in the evenings reassuring local residents and providing a calming influence for the public.

The Special Constables also work closely with bar and club security. They are all linked with a Sutton town centre radio system that helps them to communicate with ease and if necessary warn bars of potential trouble. Tom said that "this level of collaboration between different groups is just what we need. By working together, they can continue to make Sutton safer."

He continued: "Part of the Big Society is encouraging people to volunteer and to do their bit for the community. From what I have seen tonight, this spirit is already flourishing in Sutton."

Special Constables in Sutton belong to a force of over three thousand across London, and work as part of the Safer Sutton Partnership. With the London Olympics coming up next year, the Mayor of London has stated his commitment to recruiting another ten thousand Special Constables across the capital. If you are interested in volunteering as a Special Constable in Sutton, contact the Metropolitan Police Recruitment Department on 0845 727 2212.

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