22 March 2021
South Wales Police Federation branch chair Steve Treharne has praised the contribution of Special Constables during the pandemic as a new bill goes through Parliament which will allow them to access Federation support.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which passed its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday (16 March), includes provision for Specials to subscribe to the Police Federation for the first time.
“This is a really welcome step,” Steve said, “For almost a decade the Federation has been campaigning for Special Constables to be able to access the wealth of support and advice services we offer.
“They’ve faced the same dangers and risks as our regular officers but without the benefits of Federation membership for far too long.
“We’ve seen what a crucial role our Specials have played in the response to the pandemic. They give their free time to work alongside our members and have been outstanding.
“This change in the law is not before time and we look forward to welcome our Specials into the Federation family soon,” Steve added.
Joining more than 130,000 regular constables, sergeants, inspectors and chief inspectors as Federation members, Specials will be able to receive support and advice from elected workplace reps and will also be able to call on expert advice and representation during performance and misconduct proceedings.
This will form part of the support package to ensure they know their rights and entitlements and means they will receive the right support if any workplace issues are encountered.
As Federation members, Specials will for also the first time be able to apply for legal assistance in criminal, conduct and civil cases as well as gaining access to Member Service offers.
The national Federation’s Special Constabulary lead Dave Bamber said: “Nobody has ever really fully represented the Special Constabulary regarding regulations or formal negotiations. Nobody has been on the side of Specials during conversations with key decision-makers - and now the Federation will be. It is a really proud moment for the Federation and a historic move.
“It is only right Specials receive the same legal protections, support with workplace grievances and negotiations over conditions as their regular counterparts.”
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is expected to continue to progress through Parliament before becoming law later this year.