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21st November 2019

Suffolk Constabulary volunteer role-players


Have you ever thought about joining Suffolk Constabulary’s volunteer role player scheme? Role playing is just one of a number of volunteering opportunities available within Suffolk police.

Whether it’s a chance to give back to the community, a way of supporting the police or simply having a bit of fun and honing their acting skills, all of Suffolk police’s volunteer role players understand the importance of playing the part and testing the latest police recruits.

For many of the volunteers in the role player scheme, giving something back to the local community is the key driving force behind their support – though some do revel in the chance for of a spot of acting and causing mischief.

“My husband says I’m a drama queen and I can be a bit over the top,” said Sandy Taylor who has volunteered for just under two years.

“I definitely love playing the part. I have done it for sheer indulgence.”

No matter the motive, their efforts ensure the student officers are properly tested and are ready to face whatever may come their way on Suffolk’s streets.

Angela Hastings, part of the Operational Training Team, said: “Mistakes are so important, the students learn more from these and you’ll find they won’t make the same mistakes again.”

The volunteers are not just there to test the officers. After scenarios, alongside the assessors, they give vital feedback. The volunteers play the part of both offender and victim; being able to show understanding and empathy is just as crucial for the soon-to-be officers.

Volunteering has benefits for everyone involved. For Terri Fountain, who retired from a career in IT, the role has boosted her confidence.

Karen Harris, Citizens in Policing Manager at Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We are very fortunate in Suffolk police to have the support of many amazing members of our community who volunteer for us in numerous diverse roles within our organisation.

“Role playing is just one of a number of roles and our current vacancies are on our website, we are always also looking for new roles to develop so if anyone has a particular skill set that they feel would benefit/support our organisation please also get in touch. We offer full induction training as well as out of pocket travel expenses.

“Both our regular and special police officer students are live the moment they hit the streets, so the only chance they have to test and embed what they have learnt in training is during their role plays. Our volunteer role players are therefore a crucial part of the training process.

“Our volunteers play the part of criminals and also victims in scenarios from domestic abuse or rape to theft and road traffic collisions, the students are not only tested professionally by our trainers but the volunteers have the opportunity to feed back to officers around how they communicated and areas that they suggest could be improved upon.”

Are you interested in becoming a role player or volunteer within Suffolk Constabulary?

For more information please visit https://www.suffolk.police.uk/join-us/volunteers

Role players can volunteer for up to 20 hours-per-month at any time that suits them; out of pocket travel expenses will be covered.

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