National Volunteers Week

As part of National Volunteers Week, 1st – 7th June, and National Specials Weekend, 1st – 3rd June, a selection of West Yorkshire Police's very own Special Constables, Police Volunteers and Police Cadets have given an overview of their roles in a series of Questions and Answers.

 


Paul Waite

Age: 33
Job Title/District: Community Support Volunteer – Kirklees District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I feel that if everyone volunteered, just one hour per week, it would be great. I like giving back to West Yorkshire Police.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
I have volunteered for a few months now and I would like to make it a permanent thing.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
I live in Leeds, but also in my heart, West Yorkshire Police are the best police force out there and treat everyone the same.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
Knowing that I have done something good and it makes me feel proud of myself and also to show my children that it’s not all about getting paid and that you can do well and give back and be rewarded in a different way.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Go for it and don’t be scared, it’s rewarding to yourself and you will feel great inside.



David Rhodes

Age: 64
Job Title/District: Contact Point Volunteer – Bradford District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
Tony Atkinson persuaded me to become a volunteer PSV.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
6 years as a volunteer with West Yorkshire Police.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
West Yorkshire because I live here!

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
I can put something back into society. As a Carer for my disabled wife I'm grateful for the help we receive and volunteering is my way of giving something back. Plus it helps the Police who are stretched.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
The advice I would give is to try being a volunteer, you'd be surprised how much you would enjoy it.


 

Mags Smith

Age: 63
Job Title/District: Contact Point Volunteer – Bradford District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I was employed by the Parish Council to be Co-ordinator at the Contact Point and therefore had to become a Police Volunteer.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
Since December 2009.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
No other choice as in West Yorkshire Police area.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
I enjoy the variety of work at the Contact Point, meeting new people and taking part in West Yorkshire Police role play events.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Do it! It’s a great way to meet people.

 


Lynaire Munton

Age: 73
Job Title/District: Police Service Volunteer – Bradford District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
Having retired I wanted something worthwhile to do along with my other volunteering.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
10 years.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
I live in West Yorkshire.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
A sense of purpose.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Try it, you may enjoy it!

 

 

James Tuke

Age: 19
Job Title/District: Police Support Volunteer/Senior Cadet Leader – Kirklees District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
My ambition was (and still is) to be a Police Officer with West Yorkshire Police. So I became a volunteer originally as a Police Explorer with the idea being to learn more about the job that I wanted to go into when I was old enough.

I then became a Police Support Volunteer working in the Continuous Improvement Unit at Huddersfield Police station. I took on this role because I wanted to help out in the department, gain more experience and also to help assist WYP in tasks that I could do in the place of a Police Officer. This would then help Officers have less work to do.

I also work as Kirklees District’s Senior Police Cadet Leader, which is a role that I took on to assist the Volunteers Coordinator PC Michelle Linney and to help make a difference in the local communities.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
I’ve worked for West Yorkshire Police for 3 very enjoyable years (and counting).

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
West Yorkshire Police is my local police force and I wanted to gain volunteering experience working with the force before I applied to be a regular Police Officer.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
• Incredibly supportive colleagues who have been invaluable in guiding me through my Police Officer Recruitment Process (My Medical is on 1st May).
• The opportunity to meet and interact with the Senior Leadership Team and Senior Officers including the Chief Constable Dee Collins, Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams, Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns Williamson, Chief Superintendent Steve Cotter, Superintendent Marianne Huison, Sergeant Nicola Brown, amongst many others.
• The privilege to work alongside some of the most inspirational people I have ever met.
• The Mentorship of a very supportive Volunteers Officer – PC Michelle Linney, who has helped develop my skills as a volunteer and as a person.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Do it. It is an amazing opportunity and has been crucial to me in shaping my future career and inspiring me. West Yorkshire Police is an incredible organisation that you should be proud to be a part of.

Finally, I’d say do it for the people. The people who you meet through working in your role are absolutely brilliant and deserve your help and support.


Kaukub Asia

Age: 38
Job Title/District: Police Support Volunteer/Cadet Leader – Kirklees District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I wanted to put something back in to my local community and eradicate the negative stereotypical view of the police that is held by some by proving them wrong about the police.

I also wanted to encourage people from the same background as me those of Muslim and Pakistani heritage, especially females and individuals with a disability to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
Eight years in August.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
It is my local force.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
The ability to help and support individuals who have experienced a difficult event in their lives such as a hate crime. The ability to encourage and support young people in terms of increasing their awareness of the police.

I also gain pride in what I do in terms of representing the police and helping to overcome barriers that are still perceived to be unachievable. I am proud of the fact that I am still the first only police volunteer in the UK who is registered as visually impaired (severely sight impaired) serving in this role.

It is the only role where you will get to meet and work with individuals of all different backgrounds and those days that you’re in are never the same. It is exciting, challenging and you will undertake tasks and roles that you probably thought you would never do in your normal life.

If you could give any advice to yourself before you applied for the role, what would it be?
Do it you won’t regret it. It is the only role where you will get to meet and work with individuals of all different backgrounds and those days that you’re in are never the same. It is exciting, challenging and you will undertake tasks and roles that you probably thought you would never do in your normal life.

I would say to other people with visual impairments who thought the police has been a career or volunteering opportunity that has not been considered as an option, please consider this opportunity as I am proof it can be undertaken successfully.



David Austin

Age: 62
Job Title/District: Police Support Volunteer– Calderdale District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
The opportunity to assist the police in performing their duties.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
4 years.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
It’s my local force.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
The knowledge of having assisted in some small way in policing.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Go for it!


Andrew Shaw

Age: 27
Job Title/District: Police Cadet Leader – Bradford District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I have always wanted to work for the police. All members of the police truly are role models to me. I admire the work that they do to protect the public. I wanted to be a part of this incredible organisation.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
I have been working as a Police Cadet Leader since January 2018, though I have worked with the police in the past. Whilst studying for my honours degree in Public Services Management, I was part of the Student Guardianship Programme.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
The region of West Yorkshire is an amazing, diverse place to be. Living in this stunning county, I have witnessed the incredible work the West Yorkshire Police do. I admire and respect the organisation immensely and have always yearned to be a member of the team and serve the community I am proud to be part of.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
Working as a volunteer has helped me develop my skills and has certainly boosted my confidence immeasurably. I also feel enormous pride to be able to make a difference to young people as a Police Cadet Leader as well as feeling honoured to represent the West Yorkshire Police.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
First of all be confident! Being a volunteer is extremely rewarding. I attribute a lot of my success to me being myself. Sell yourself. By giving 100% dedication and desire you’ll make a lasting impression.

 

Adam Linton

Age: 17
Job Title/District: East Leeds Cadet – Leeds District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I want to pursue a career in the police.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
Since I have started the Police Cadet programme.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
As I am currently living in Leeds and it is located in West Yorkshire.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
Interacting with the community and helping those who need it.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Be confident and be prepared to experience something rewarding and fun.


Niamh Wilson

Age: 14
Job Title/District: East Leeds Cadet – Leeds District

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
Being able to help people and learning about different walks of life.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
7 months from May.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
It is an important organisation and it represents an important trust in the public.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
I feel like I’m giving something to the public and learning whilst helping people.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Go for it. Any opportunities you get, grab them because you’ll learn things you never thought you would.

 

Dudley Martin

Age: 60
Job Title/District: Police Chaplain (Lead) – Calderdale District & HQ

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
I recognise the extreme challenges of working in the modern police service and having been a police officer for 30 years also having a strong Christian faith, I saw the unique opportunity to offer support in a very practical way.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
30 years as a Police Officer and 6 years as a Police Chaplain.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
My long connection with it.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
It is a real privilege to be able to offer practical and pastoral support to officers and staff. It also facilitates appropriate deployment of the vast experience I gained as an officer. I continue to develop through the challenges I encounter. The experience of police chaplaincy has also enabled me to offer similar support in my community.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Have a go! It will develop your skills and experience.

 

Tom Mortimer

Job Title/District: SSO – Leeds District

What persuaded you to become a Special Constable?
I wanted to join the police from a young age and joining the Special Constabulary was a way to see what it was like on a part time basis. A couple of my friends had joined up in previous years and all recommended it.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
Around 7 years in total.

When you are not on duty, what is it you do full-time?
I am an IT Service Manager for a large engineering firm. It is my job to ensure all the company employees across the UK get high quality IT Service and support. My team is spread out across the country so the job involves a fair bit of traveling.

What has been your biggest challenge as a Special Constable?
My biggest initial challenge was getting to a point where I was operationally competent, so I could work independently with officers who were not yet Independent Patrol Status. Going from your first shift to being signed off is a difficult but rewarding process. As a supervisor, my biggest challenge is ensuring officers get from training school to independent patrol status in a reasonable timeframe, whilst ensuring they are confident and competent, addressing any issues along the way.

What is your favourite task to do whilst on duty?
I enjoy being proactive, stopping vehicles in high crime areas and issuing Traffic Offence Reports for offences such as no insurance. I also enjoy working in the Police Paramedic Car working alongside paramedics, attending a wider variety of jobs across Leeds District that require both police and medical professionals. As a supervisor, I enjoy arranging operations and events, and seeing them through to delivery with positive results.

 

Steven W. Beasley

Age: 74
Job Title & District: Police Support Volunteer

What persuaded you to become a volunteer?
Retired from active job and wanted some meaningful thing to do.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
About 4 to 5 years – Formerly was a Special Constable with West Riding, West Yorkshire Metropolitan Police and then West Yorkshire Police – served 7 years.

What made you choose West Yorkshire Police?
My local force with historical connections.

What do you get out of being a volunteer?
Helping to give support to the force, helping people, co-ordinating Speed Watch deployments.

If you could give any advice to people hoping to apply as a volunteer, what would it be?
Don’t join for the glory or power, join to enrich your life and those of others.


Jade Brook

Age: 28
Job Title/District: Special Constable – Leeds District

What persuaded you to become a Special Constable?
I already knew I wanted to give up some of my time to do voluntary work to help out in the community and my career goal was to become a Crime Scene Investigator. I took the plunge to gain more police related experience in preparation for this, as well as being able to do the voluntary work that I wanted to. I enjoy it so much, I’ve even kept going!

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
3 years as a Special Constable.

When you are not on duty, what is it you do full-time?
Senior Crime Scene Investigator – I attend a range of crime scenes to preserve, record and collect evidence.

What has been your biggest challenge as a Special Constable?
My biggest challenge was ensuring that I was able to be competent in an operational capacity, which provides me with the opportunity to work independently. I have been thorough in my approach to this and have found it very fulfilling. Working in a range of departments and across a range of job types has given me the opportunity to build and maintain rewarding working relationships with a diverse range of colleagues and people.

What is your favourite task to do whilst on duty?
I enjoy working proactively by working on pre-planned operations to combat particular types of crimes in high crime areas, meaning I am able to have a direct impact on reducing crime in that area and making the community feel safer. I also enjoy working reactively, so in company with units that respond to emergency calls. These situations are dynamic and constantly evolving so I enjoy the fast paced problem solving that’s required and being able to provide the support to colleagues in high risk situations.

 

Damian Whitehouse

Age: 40
Job Title/District: Section Officer – Wakefield District

What persuaded you to become a Special Constable?
I had thought about joining the Specials for many years, initially whilst at university and thinking about pursuing a policing career. I sent-off for an application form, but got distracted by student life and didn’t pursue it - until nearly twenty years later!  After graduating I trained as a school teacher because my local force weren’t recruiting regular officers at that time. As things worked out, I loved teaching and have no plans to stop being a teacher, but I never got the idea of becoming a police officer out of my head. With my career firmly established, I realised that as a Special I can be both!

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
Including training, about 4 years now.

When you are not on duty, what is it you do full-time?
I teach A-Level Computer Science at a sixth form college in Leeds. Teaching computer programming describes much of what I do. It is an absolute pleasure to shape the ideas and aspirations of the next generation of developers of future technology.

What has been your biggest challenge as a Special Constable?
Finding the time isn’t always easy. Teaching comes with plenty of work to do outside of my working hours, I am a parent of a young daughter and I also work as an A-Level examiner of my subject (marking hundreds of exam papers during the summer). The Special Constabulary is a significant commitment and so finding the time to honour that commitment, every month, is what being a Special is all about.

What is your favourite task to do whilst on duty?
As a Section Officer, one of my roles is to take new recruits, fresh out of training school, out for their first shift on the streets. The excitement and trepidation they have at this pivotal moment in their policing career, and their susceptibility to have their attitudes influenced, makes sharing this first experience with them a rewarding responsibility.


Shane Burgess

Age: 24
Job Title/District: Special Constable – Calderdale District

What persuaded you to become a Special Constable?
Around 22 years of age, I decided that a potential career path for me would be a Police Officer, I thought the best way to put me in a good position to do this and gain a first-hand experience of what it would be like to work in the force would be to become a Special Constable.

How long have you worked with West Yorkshire Police?
I started my training on the 8th July 2017.

When you’re not on duty, what is you do full-time?
I am a shift manager at McDonalds in Huddersfield Town Centre.

What has been your biggest challenge as a Special Constable?
Trying to volunteer as much as I would like to whilst still maintaining a healthy work and social life.

What is your favourite task to do whilst on duty?
Attending calls that may seem insignificant to some, but make a difference to the person you are helping.