Historic moment as Federation welcomes Specials

The chair of the South Wales branch says it will be an historic moment when the Police Federation welcomes Special Constables into its membership for the first time.

Steve Treharne said it’s the culmination of a decade of campaigning to bring Specials into the “Federation family”.

A change in the law means that Special Constables can join the Federation’s 139,000-strong membership from tomorrow (1 July).

Steve said: “Specials give their time to work alongside regular officers and face the same risks, but have never been fully represented in terms of regulations, formal negotiations, and discussions with key policy and decision makers.

“From today that all changes. It’s a history moment after a decade of campaigning to bring them into the Federation family.

“And it’s only right they receive support and advice from our reps, and are able to call on expert advice and representation if they should need it.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Specials, to representing them, and making sure that their voices are heard.”

The Special Constabulary was formed in 1831 but its members haven’t had an umbrella organisation representing them and had negligible legal protection – until now. 

With the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 now coming into effect, Special Constables can sign up for membership of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) to receive support and advice from?elected workplace reps who have received full Federation training on Police Regulations.

Dave Bamber, the national Federation’s Special Constabulary lead, said: “Specials play a dangerous and difficult role in society, and they need support in the workplace to ensure they are treated fairly and not disadvantaged and the Federation will be there to offer that support.

“From a Special Constabulary point of view, the law change is a really big indication of acceptance within the police family and the Federation wishes to embrace them as well.”

Federation national chair Steve Hartshorn added: “Special Constables bring their own unique set of life skills into policing. It is only right that they have the same protection, support, and experience as their full-time colleagues when they need it.

“As members they will have access to PFEW services and the support of trained and accredited federation reps, our legal service providers and other experts who have experience in representing officers. They will also have access to many other benefits provided local and nationally by the PFEW’s network across England and Wales.

“I would encourage the Special Constables who are interested in joining as members to contact their local federation representatives, local branch board or visit the PFEW website to learn more.”

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