Conference celebrates police volunteers

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.
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The work of the volunteers who give up their time to help Northumbria Police is being celebrated tomorrow.

Northumbria Police and Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner are hosting the first Volunteers' Conference to mark the efforts of those who volunteer to support policing and the work of the commissioner.

They include the special constabulary, volunteer police cadets, community speedwatch, court observors, rape scrutiny panel members, custody visitors and advisory group members.

Saturday's conference features guest speakers Mike Maiden, a volunteer Chief Officer from North Yorkshire Police, and Claire Craven-Griffiths, also from North Yorkshire, both of whom play a key role in Citizens in Policing.

Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird will take part in PCC in Conversation with the Cadets and attendees will also hear from Chief Constable Steve Ashman.

Ms Baird said: "The event will be a celebration of the crucial work our volunteers do and an opportunity to show our gratitude and appreciation for their support. The work of my office benefits from a number of volunteer roles - from independent custody visitors to court observers - they help us identify issues so we can tackle them and bring about positive change. This outsiders' perspective and input is, for me, incredibly valuable and I am grateful to everyone who dedicates their time and skills so that together we can try and make a difference."

ACC Jo Farrell said: "Our volunteers are an important part of the police family and play a crucial role in supporting Northumbria Police. Volunteers bring skills from their own backgrounds that undoubtedly help us and it is fantastic to be able to celebrate and recognise those who give up their own free time to play a part in policing.

"Volunteers really do help make a difference and we are proud of every single one and hope they enjoy what promises to be fantastic event."

Last year, Superintendent Sarah Pitt took over responsibility for developing volunteering within the force, as part of this role she suggested a conference to recognise the work volunteers do and give them the opportunity to share their experiences of volunteering.

She said: "The work of our volunteer's is nothing less than extroadinary, hundreds of people give up their own time to support policing in various roles whether it is through the special constabulary or community speedwatch or for younger volunteers through the volunteer police cadet scheme.

"I wanted us to give something back to them, they give up their own time to support us and I felt it only right we do the same. The purpose of this conference is to recognise the outstanding contribution they make and an opportunity for us to say thank you. I hope our volunteers will find it interesting and inspiring and that the event highlights how much we value their work."

Northumbria Volunteers' Conference coincides with both National Specials Weekend and National Volunteers' Week.

Supt Pitt added: "We're really proud to be celebrating our volunteers and contributing to both National Specials Weekend and National Volunteers' Week both of which demonstrate the huge difference volunteers make."