Wigan gets extra volunteer bobbies to go on the beat

New Wigan special Rachel Evans flanked by Special Constabulary Chief Officer Paul Whittham (left) and Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney
New Wigan special Rachel Evans flanked by Special Constabulary Chief Officer Paul Whittham (left) and Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney
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THEY are folk from ordinary walks of life who go the extra mile to keep law and order in their spare time.

And this week two new Special Constables took up posts in Wigan borough.

With budgets squeezed, there is little prospect of more conventional bobbies on the beat at present. But that doesn’t mean forces can’t enlist the help of volunteers, many of whom hope for a full-time career when times improve.

Some 41 officers were sworn in at Greater Manchester Police’s training facility at Sedgley Park the other day, their day jobs ranging from a high-flying banker to a double-bass playing military man.

One of the Wigan recruits to undergo the 13-week training course and who will now be giving up at least 16 hours a month of his own time to work as a special constable is plumber Kieron Evans.

He says he has wanted to join the police ever since he left school but thought it best to start a plumbing apprentiship first so he had a trade behind him.

And former Standish High School pupil Rachel Evans (no relation) is also starting this week. The 21-year-old UCLAN graduate from Whelley is a supply cover supervisor for secondary schools, but hopes one day to be in the force full time.

She said: “I have become a special because I want to give something back to society and fight crime.

“And when they open up recruitment again I will have had some valuable experience to become a regular.” There are 604 Special Constables in GMP, they have the same powers and uniform as regular officers. Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: “It was great to welcome these special constables to GMP. The number of people who want to become Special Constables is growing continually and this demonstrates how many people want to get involved in making their community a better place and improve the areas where they live.

“We recognise the huge difference our volunteers make to people’s lives. Special Constables are just one part of our commitment to continue to improve local policing.”