South Wales Police is celebrating Volunteers' Week by thanking the volunteers who work every day to support regular officers.

Volunteers have long played a vital role in the policing family. Since 1831, Special Constables have taken many of the same risks as full-time police officers, for no reward other than the satisfaction of playing their part in keeping their communities safe.

In recent years, South Wales Police has widened the range of volunteer roles enabling hundreds of community minded individuals to support the force in managing initiatives such as community speedwatch, pub watch programmes, providing crime prevention advice, caring for police animals, and more recently in specialist roles based on professional skills, knowledge and experience in areas such as cyber-crime.

Volunteer Portfolio Lead, Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said: "National Volunteers’ Week provides us with a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the dedication of over 800 volunteers who give their time, energy and skills to work with us.

"On behalf of South Wales Police I offer my sincere gratitude and heartfelt thanks.

“Whether working as a Special Constable or Police Support Volunteer we benefit from the external perspective they bring to their role together with unique skills and a willingness to make a difference.”

South Wales Police welcomes applications to volunteer from all members of our communities, particularly those with IT skills and accountancy qualifications who may be able to help us combat the growing threat of cyber and financial crime.

Employers are also encouraged to sign up to the Employer Supported Policing Scheme whereby employers can support their staff to volunteer as a Special Constable. This is an effective partnership between employers, their staff and the police service to support Special Constables in their duties and help increase public safety and confidence.

Assistant Chief Constable Vaughan added: “Policing is too important to be left to the police alone; it has to be a community wide effort, and volunteers and employers make a huge difference to people’s lives locally.“

Commissioner Alun Michael said:“As Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales and also as The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners Lead for Volunteering, I am a passionate advocate of the importance of volunteering within our communities.”

“The work undertaken by volunteers is not just an add-on to a joined up society, it is the essential act of citizenship; therefore National Volunteer week allows us to rightly recognise and celebrate this contribution.

"I would like to personally pay tribute to all those who give up their time in whatever capacity, be it as a Special Constable or police volunteer, as their support enables South Wales Police to be the best at engaging with its communities and ensures the public remain both safe and confident.”