Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Steve Turner has asked leaders across Cleveland to consider a Council Tax rebate for serving special constables.
Steve has written to council leaders in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees to ask them to consider the tax cut.
Special constables are unpaid, volunteer police officers. They have the same powers and responsibilities as full-time officers but deliver their duties in their spare time.
Special constables already make a massive difference to community safety across Cleveland.
In 2022-23, special constables contributed 15,239 volunteering hours, made 98 arrests and seized 56 vehicles.
Among their duties, special constables carried out 256 roadside tests on drivers for drink and drugs.
As a result of the skilled use of the Medicar – an innovative collaboration between Cleveland Police and the North East Ambulance Service – controllers were able to cancel the dispatch of 79 ambulances.
Medicar attends incidents where both police and ambulance are required. A paramedic and two specials staff the Medicar. It aims to relieve pressure on hard-pressed public services.
An invaluable role
Steve said: “Our special constables play an invaluable role in supporting Cleveland Police to keep communities safe, with many of them volunteering hundreds of hours for their communities every year.
“They sacrifice time with their loved ones to attend emergencies, support neighbourhood policing teams and keep our roads safe.
“While they do not expect to be paid for their duties, I would like council leaders to consider a reduction in council tax bills as a way of thanking them for their contribution.”
Following National Volunteers Week, Steve has written to council leaders Cllr Mike Young, Cllr Bob Cook, Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke and Cllr Alec Brown.
He has asked them to take his proposals to full council meetings for consideration.
Special constables already receive council tax exemptions in Lincolnshire and Humberside police force areas. A similar system operates locally for foster carers.
Steve made a commitment to increase the number of special constables working in Cleveland as part of his election promises in 2021.