Conservatives would halt special constable decline

Alistair Craig, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for Greenwich & Woolwich, today pointed to newly published government figures showing the number of special police constables employed by the Met has fallen by 57% since 1997.  Special constables are voluntary uniformed police officers and assist regular police officers in frontline policing duties, particularly in patrolling town centres.

But to reverse this decline, the Conservatives have now pledged that special constables should be paid an annual allowance, in the same way that Territorial Army reservists are paid.

Alistair said: "Special constables play a vital role in neighbourhood policing, especially in providing a welcome uniformed presence in town centres during the day and night.  But specials, like full-time officers, are being overwhelmed with bureaucracy and paperwork; falling morale has led to the number of specials in the Metropolitan Police area falling by 57% since Labour came to power.

"The Conservatives pledge to reverse this decline, not just by cutting police paperwork, but also by paying special constables an annual allowance - just as we do with army reservists.  If we can restore numbers to pre-1997 levels, this could represent a near doubling in the size of the Special Constabulary.

On top of this, we would fund over 8,000 more police officers on the beat across the whole of London, including Greenwich & Woolwich, cut the political correctness which creates red tape, and give local communities a greater say on where police resources should be focused".