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  • Writer's pictureAlan Nield

Free Policing???

I am and always will be a great advocate of the Police. Men and women who react to our predicaments whenever we need them, putting themselves in the firing line “To Protect And Serve!”

This weekend saw a rather large and highly entertaining game of football down at Boundary Park, but what I didn’t know was that 10% of the Police on duty in Oldham that day were Special Constables! Now I didn’t think that I knew any Specials, but how wrong could I be? I don’t just know one, or two, but three in Oldham alone. Two Inspectors and Oldham’s Chief Inspector Fraser Macdonald, so I just had to catch up with them and ask the question... Why?

Fraser told me “The overwhelming reason for people joining the Special Constabulary is because they want to give something back to their community and this is a fantastic way of doing just that for both men and women alike.” He went on to tell me that he considers his time as a kind of National Service, but on a voluntary basis, explaining that Oldham has Specials from all walks of life; a mechanic, a property guru, even one guy who has a civilian position in a Police Station during the day, then pounds the streets whenever else he can!

I think we are all well aware of just how much the Police resources are stretched at the moment, so this means that the Specials are called upon on a much more regular basis to deal with everything from social issues to burglaries, from street fights to road accidents. Basically all the jobs of a regular officer, but all done because they want to!

GMP are now even in the process of reintroducing Police Cadets, in a bid to get the young people of the area interested in a career within the service. What a fabulous way forward. Rather than the Police going to the kids, the kids now want to go to the Police to get involved with their work.

This whole meeting left me quite humbled by their dedication to the people of Oldham and also questioning myself as to just how much I give back. Fraser’s response was simple. He just said to point anyone with some spare time each week to the GMP website, so they can help their community too!

If you have an interest in helping out your community and becoming a Special Constable, follow this link...

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