This site uses cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work, and we'd like to use analytics cookies to keep improving our website. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences. For more information please see our Cookies Page.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Google Analytics

We use cookies to compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

Skip to main content

Giving back, making a difference and inspiring others

06 June 2024

For the Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, the power of volunteering and its impact on shaping safer communities should never be under-estimated.

The PCC, who has now begun her second term after being re-elected with one of the largest majorities in the country, has first-hand experience having served as a magistrate for 16 years.

As the UK marks and celebrates Volunteers’ Week, now in its 40th year, the Police Commissioner says the selfless act of giving your time to help others brings people and communities together: “Volunteers provide invaluable insight and experience and this added value changes lives.

“Since becoming PCC in 2021, I’ve witnessed the wonderful contributions volunteers make to our policing communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. From Community Speedwatch co-ordinators who help officers clamp down on dangerous drivers to Special Constables who join their regular colleagues on the frontline, volunteers provide immense value and support.”

Special Sergeant Lewis James works alongside the Bargate Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) in Southampton. Joining in July 2022, he achieved over 1,000 hours in 2023, was promoted to Special Sergeant at the start of this year and now manages eight other Southampton-based Specials.

Lewis says it’s been a lifelong dream to be involved: “I have always wanted to be a police officer for as long as I can remember. I love my job in the technology industry and being a Special means I can give back to the local community whilst also doing a job I really enjoy. I get the best of both worlds.

“My role involves plenty of community engagement, patrols around the city centre and progressing with investigations. Being a Special is one of the most rewarding and worthwhile ways to give back.”

Lewis’s commitment supporting policing was recognised by the PCC at her annual awards ceremony in March this year. Held to thank volunteers, police officers and staff as well as partners, Lewis was given the Special Constable of the Year Award.

Another well-deserved recipient on the night was the Community Speedwatch Chandler’s Ford group who won the Police Volunteer of the Year category. Its co-ordinator, Derek, explains their role: “As volunteers, we monitor the traffic in the local area because speeding is dangerous in our communities.

“It’s very rewarding to help out in the community and we are also able to free up the time of police officers.”

Other volunteers play equally vital roles across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Rural policing is supported by Mounted Rural Patrol (MRP) volunteers while Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) visit police stations unannounced to check on the treatment and conditions for those being held.

Young people get involved and give their time at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Either as volunteers for the Youth Commission (YC) or the Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG), these young people help shape decisions giving their views about policing and crime.

PCC Donna Jones says the scope of volunteering makes a real difference: “The knowledge, expertise and experience volunteers bring to policing across the two counties is immeasurable. Volunteers’ Week is about recognising their contribution and commitment, and they should rightly be celebrated every day.

For Humane Animal Dispatchers (HADs), this commitment is 365 days of the year dispatching injured animals at the roadside. Tony has been involved as a HAD for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary for many years.

He says the role requires complete dedication: “You never know when you’re going to get a call from the control room. We are on call 24-7 so badly injured animals can be dispatched humanely and quickly. If one of these animals goes further out in the road, this could cause another accident which is why our role is important.”

PCC Donna Jones added: “I am so proud of all our volunteers who give up their free time to support the police and give back to their communities. I know from personal experience how such contributions make a significant difference so from one (former) volunteer to another, thank you.”

To find out more information about getting involved as a volunteer with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, visit or for voluntary roles at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner visit