GMP special constables now trained to deal with disorder and high-profile events
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Greater Manchester Police is now training its special constables public order policing.
Public order public safety (POPS) policing covers a wide range of events and operations – including protests, festivals, sporting events and disorder – where there might be a risk to public safety.
Around 30 specials completed the level two training over four days at GMP’s specialist training centre in Openshaw and can now be deployed at high-profile events including football matches.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hill, strategic lead at GMP, said: “Special constables have the same powers and look the same as regular officers – the difference is they are volunteers and can have regular jobs as well.
“They play an important role for GMP, often joining response teams or providing a link between communities and GMP.
“The specials that completed the training are now highly trained in tactics as well as how to use equipment including helmets and shields and can be deployed to high-profile football matches and events or demonstrations where there is an increase in tension.
“It is hoped this will make joining GMP as a special a more interesting and exciting prospect.
“GMP are always seeking new opportunities for special constabulary officers to be deployed within the Special Operations Branch, the airport and to cyber-crime, and we have also already supported other forces on mutual aid, including the Commonwealth Games last year.
“Deployment will always be offered to regular officers in the first instance, but this gives us a great back-up option as well as reducing the number of rest days that need to be cancelled.”
Mike Walmsley, GMP’s Chief Officer who oversees the Special Constabulary, added: “It is great to see a continued investment in our special constables.
“Having a team trained to public order level two allows us to further support our colleagues and unlock more of the potential that the Special Constabulary has.
“We have already started to map out structured learning and supplied them with laptops and, coupled with further opportunities, this will allow our officers to develop further and support in existing and new areas.”