Thanks to ‘Special’ ones!

Special constables on duty over the festive period and (below) Nigel Walters, the Special Constabularys chief officer.

Special constables on duty over the festive period and (below) Nigel Walters, the Special Constabularys chief officer.

The Fylde coast’s special constables have been thanked for their hard work in fighting crime over the past year.

A total of 54 people in Western Division, which covers the Fylde coast, currently work as unpaid volunteer police officers, have the same powers as regular police officers and wear the same uniform.

They carry out local patrols, police local events and take part in crime reduction projects, working to cut crime and anti-social behaviour.

Nigel Walters, the Special Constabulary’s chief officer, said: “2013 has been another impressive year for the Special Constabulary, and I would to thank all those who have helped us to achieve this.

“This includes the training staff, police staff, all our agencies and officers who enable Specials to support the Regulars in the way we do.

“I would also like to extend a warm thank you to our specials’ family members for their understanding, particularly when our specials are dedicating their free time over the holiday periods.

“Shifts can also go well into the night and yet, specials continue to give their time and effort.

“This is week after week, year after year, and the support Specials offer directly helps the communities we serve in.”

During the course of 2013, 459 Special Constables spread across Lancashire volunteered over 125,000 hours of their time to policing the county’s streets.

Of note, specials seized nearly 3,000 litres of alcohol from under-age drinkers, performed over 2,000 checks on licensed premises, performed over 1,600 roadside breathalyzer tests, and have seized 113 vehicles for a range of offences, as well as dedicating 54,000 hours of their time specifically to neighbourhood policing patrols.

Chief Supt Bill McMahon said; “Lancashire Constabulary is proud of what the Special Constabulary achieves.

“The diversity of policing they face is wide and specials make a huge impact on our communities.

“The Special Constabulary continues to grow and deliver a high quality of service in the finest traditions of Lancashire Constabulary.”

• To find out how our reporter Katie Upton fared when she spent a night on patrol with police on the Fylde coast, see The Gazette on Friday.

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