Disclosure Details

Special Constabulary - 943/14

Dated: 31 Jul 2015

Date of request:        12/11/14

Date of response:     11/12/14

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 12 November 2014 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

 1. How many special constables were registered with your force as at 1st November 2014? 
2. What was the attrition rate for your special constabulary for the last recorded 12 month period (please define if any specials left to join the regulars)? 
3. What was the total number of hours worked by your special constables for the last recorded 12 month period? 
4. How many of your special constables currently have Independent Patrol Status (as defined by the Home Office)? 
5. Please list each different role description for your special constabulary officers and the department that they work in. 
6. Please describe any plans to increase the number of and/or roles to be undertaken by special constables in the future 

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR Department of Northumbria Police. 
I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1.  288 (Headcount). 
2.  There were 88 Leavers during the period equating to an attrition rate of 29.3%.  18 left to join the regulars. 
3.  SCs worked a total of 71,177 hours including training. 
4.  94 SCs have achieved Independent Patrol Status. 
5.  A copy of the Special Constable role definition is attached below – this in draft format as the force is currently migrating from the national Integrated Competency Framework and developing a role definition, currently under consultation with stakeholders. 
Special Constables work as part of the neighbourhood teams and are based in the six area commands: Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland. Special Constables are supported and encouraged to become involved in specialist operational functions including for example police searches, communications and public order. Special Constables are also involved in the recruitment and selection of prospective members of the special constabulary. As part of the wider volunteering agenda, Special Constables are also involved in delivering the Police Volunteer Cadet programme as assistant leaders.    
6. Northumbria Police aims at maintaining and developing an appropriate number of Special Constables ensuring engagement, productivity and strength are maintained at all times. This is done through a continuous recruitment campaign and the provision of coaching and training for all Special Constables geared towards enhancing performance and increasing retention.

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us underour complaints procedure which can be found at:http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act. 


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103
FOI 943-14 Role definition_tcm4-101521