The IPSCJ’s Dr Iain Britton has presented today at a national event in London focused on police reform and new powers for police staff and volunteers.
The Westminster Briefings event, ‘Police Staff and Volunteers: Best Practice and Future Reform’ focused on future policy directions for police volunteering.
A key context for the debate was the forthcoming proposed legislative changes in the Police and Crime Bill, which will give Chief Constables new abilities to give powers to police volunteers in their force areas.
Dr Britton presented alongside Tina Shelton, of Greater Manchester Police, covering ideas for new approaches to police volunteering, tips to forces for giving volunteers new powers, and the importance of being needs-led and evidence-based.
Based upon the ongoing IPSCJ research programme, key ideas for improving the experience of police volunteers and developing their role strategically in forces were explored.
Dr Iain Britton said:
“Volunteering in policing potentially has a big role to play in future police reform, but only if we are able to focus on what works, and ensure the most effective approaches are developed.
“The new legislation presents a big opportunity, but in truth empowering police volunteers – supporting them, utilising them properly, embedding them fully across policing – is going to be more important than volunteers being given more formal powers.
“Our work in the Institute and with partners such as the College of Policing is beginning to identify some very imaginative and impactful ways in which police volunteers are engaged in some force areas – there is much that can be picked up from individual forces and shared nationally.
“Events like this give us an opportunity to highlight some of those case studies, and to discuss how new practice with volunteers in forces can be developed to be as effective as possible.”