Together the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the Force said a huge 'thank you!' to volunteers last week, which tied in with National Volunteers' Week and National Specials Weekend.

Our volunteers, who support in a variety of roles from Special Constables to Community Speed Watch, make a real contribution to keeping our communities safer.

Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner, is passionate about the key role volunteers play in modern-day policing, the criminal justice system and the wider community. He has spent time this week meeting volunteers across the Force.

Mr Macpherson, who is also a volunteer himself at Swindon's Filling Station, said: "As this year's Volunteers' Week comes to an end, I wanted to reiterate my thanks, to all our volunteers. We have over 1400 volunteers working across the OPCC and Force, and the contribution made, whether that is large or small, by each of our volunteers is extremely valued - thank you for your part in keeping Wiltshire safe.

"It is important our Force is not only representative of the community it serves but has a varied range of skills and experience too. Volunteers help my office, and the Force, to widen the pool of skills and experience that we can draw upon.

"It is only right that we celebrate the contribution volunteers make and raise awareness of the great work that is being done here in Wiltshire, not just this week but every day.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard echoed his thanks. "It has been an incredible week where we have been able to showcase the amazing support that we receive from our wonderful volunteers," he said.

"I have had the privilege of meeting many volunteers over the last week. A few of my highlights have been spending the morning with Jeremy and Edward, wonderful role models who volunteer under the WorkFit scheme, as well as meeting Cadet Leader Monika, and online Safety Volunteers Tamas and Sarah who really demonstrated the wide range of skills volunteers' bring to the Force.

"Seeing the Special Constabulary bring together a proactive road safety operation during Specials Weekend reminded us of the brilliant support and commitment we get from our Special Constabulary.

"I have huge admiration for all of the volunteers who give up their time."

The end of volunteer's week also saw the introduction of the Forces first Citizens in Policing Strategic Board, bringing together members from across the Force, PCC and Community with an aim to build on opportunities for the public to engage in policing and the support, training and development opportunities offered by the Force.

For more information on the volunteering opportunities please go to the volunteers page on the Wiltshire Police website.

PCC Angus Macpherson and Chief Constable Kier Pritchard are keen that residents are more aware of the hidden demands on staff and officers' time, and squeezed resources.

As part of a joint summer-long campaign - Beyond The Beat - we are giving you an insight into the other side of policing - and the work that goes on behind the scenes.

This week's Beyond the Beat campaign looks at the demands that alcohol and drug abuse and dependencies have on the police service.

You can join in the conversation and keep up-to-date on our spotlight on this campaign by following our social media channels and #BeyondTheBeat.

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