Special Constables to receive Council Tax discount in North East Lincolnshire
Following a request from Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter to Cllr Philip Jackson, the Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, it has been agreed that Humberside Police Special Constables will receive a discount on their Council Tax bill.
This decision now means that all four Local Authorities in the Humberside Police area offer a discount to members of the public who give up their time to volunteer as a ‘Special’ alongside regular officers, following a similar decision in the East Riding of Yorkshire in December 2019.
The discount scheme for Special Constables first launched in Hull in 2006 and was seen at that time as leading the way nationally. The scheme has continued but as of this time last year only Hull and North Lincolnshire were offering a discount. North East Lincolnshire Council are now working through the detail of the level of discount to be offered.
PCC Keith Hunter said: “I am delighted North East Lincolnshire Council have agreed to reward members of the community who are, or will become Special Constables. I am not aware of many other forces nationally offering the scheme, never mind across an entire force area, and I am immensely proud of this landmark achievement for the Humberside area. This has come about due to a vastly improved working relationship between my office, the force and Local Authorities since I took office.
“Our landscape has changed significantly over the last ten years and the Special Constabulary is no exception. Back in February 2017 the force set a target of 16 hours per month per officer and yet were achieving just short of 12 hours per month. Numbers have dropped in Humberside’s Special Constabulary with some officers making the transfer across to be a regular officer following the uplift that the Chief Constable and I have worked to achieve. In February 2020 however, despite having fewer numbers, with a fantastic cohort of officers, they had a target of 16 hours per month and between them achieved an average of over 19 hours each. This high performance is now consistent month-by-month amongst the team and is testament to the commitment of each and every one of them. The offering and the invaluable link Specials provide within our local communities cannot be underestimated.
“Plans are in place over the coming months, with action already underway, to further uplift the Special Constabulary service across the Humberside area. To be able to maintain their numbers, be continually evolving and to further push the improvements across communities, it is truly vital to have the support of our Local Authorities and this scheme acts a reward for community service.
“There is a very real and positive impact of these schemes upon our Special Constables who both live in, and patrol across their own communities. I am delighted that there is no longer any disparity across the Humber region and that Specials in one area are not receiving the same acknowledgement and recognition as those that happen to live and work in another.”
Special constables are an essential part of the police who give up their time to support their regular colleagues and provide a valuable link between the police and the local community. They are warranted officers who have the same powers as a regular officer, wear the same uniform and carry the same equipment. The number of special constables in the Humberside force area has reduced from around 200 in 2016 to 146 currently, which is primarily due to the uplift in police officers in the last three years which has seen many specials transfer to become regular officers. Humberside Police is planning to recruit a number of special constables over the next three years to boost the numbers to around 250 if possible.
Data on Special Constables
February 2020 hours worked = 2884 (Target of 2352) with 148 officers.
February 2017 hours worked = 3262 (Target of 4432) with 277 officers.
Number of Special Constables at 6 March 2020
Hull = 36 East Riding = 25
North Lincolnshire = 19 North East Lincolnshire = 23
Special Operations Unit = 7 Headquarters = 3 In Training = 33
Total = 146
Posted on Friday 6th March 2020