Tonight, I will be proudly attending the fourth annual Volunteers in Policing Awards Night. Held by Leicestershire Police in conjunction with Volunteers Week, it’s an event that promises to recognise the commitment and dedication shown by special constables, police support volunteers, volunteer police cadets and volunteers within offices of police and crime commissioners.
“It is an important occasion where we can recognise the selfless commitment demonstrated by volunteers in policing,” the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service, Nick Hurd, says. “British policing is the envy of the world, and volunteers play a crucial role in keeping it that way by strengthening links with communities.”
“I hope police officers and staff will put forward volunteers they work alongside, and that members of the public will take this opportunity to nominate volunteers in policing who have had an impact on their lives.”
Given the fact that the people nominated for these awards are clearly very special individuals indeed, I look forward to meeting each and every one of them. In fact, I’ll be personally presenting the Open Society Foundation & St Philip’s Centre Diversity Award 2018, along with Riaz Ravat from the St. Philip’s Centre. For this particular award, we’ll be looking for an individual who has: 1) Developed methods for increasing and valuing equality and diversity. 2) Demonstrated efforts to foster good community relations between the police and local communities, free from bias and discrimination. 3) Made an effective contribution to promoting policing within diverse communities. 4) Demonstrated personal leadership in advancing equality.
It goes without saying that volunteers are invaluable to the police force and members from all sectors of society are encouraged to apply for these positions. Volunteers who give their free time to support the service don’t only earn the respect of their peers, they become pillars of the community.
As I mentioned in my recent blog – The Best Way to Stamp Out Inequality is to Get Involved – we are really pushing for an expansion of BME presence in the police force. We would encourage everyone who is interested in the industry to apply. If you are interested or you think that you might be but need more information, why not visit your local Beat Surgery? They provide opportunities to talk to your local Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) at a set time – they will answer any questions you may have.
It’s also a great time to discuss community engagement, consultation, help and advice. This Friday, the surgeries will take place at the E2 project, Home Farm Centre in Beaumont Leys, the Hermitage FM café and St Francis School – have a look here for some more information. I wish everyone the best of luck at the police awards and congratulate all those nominated.