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Surrey and Sussex Federation show support for Specials

Surrey and Sussex Police Federation have issued a joint statement clarifying their position on Special Constable membership.

Many forces have increased the number of hours their Specials do in order to support the frontline response to the Covid-19 outbreak – known as Operation Apollo.

Sussex and Surrey Police Federations said: “Should one of our Special Constable colleagues require advice, guidance or representation due to their assistance during Op Apollo, and until they are able to join our organisation, following a change in legislation, we will provide them with the same advice, guidance and representation that we would provide our members.”

Matt Webb, Chair of the Sussex Police Federation, said: “It's about doing the right thing at the right time and now seems to be an ideal opportunity for us to just remind our volunteer colleagues that we are here to assist them as best we can, as much as we can, and we will make sure that they're looked after to the best of our ability.”

The Sussex Federation has been seeking to change legislation to allow Specials to join PFEW. They say the legislation is expected to pass later this year.

Mr Webb said Theresa May had been “more interested in reducing our membership than increasing it”, but that the current Home Secretary Priti Patel had been very responsive to the Federation’s needs.

Mr Webb said the role of the Special had expanded over the years, and when he started at Sussex they were there for “festivals, fares and fetes”, but now do the role of response and specialist services in some cases.

He said: “They're doing the same job as our as our members. It says only its only right they're given the same protections as our as our members.”

The Federation are unable to give Specials access to their legal fund, but as they are covered by the Home Office ARC legal policy – which the Federation has experience working with – they say they will ensure officers are represented by the same accredited solicitors they would use for their members.

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