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PCC pays tribute to those who give up their time to help make us safer at the start of Volunteers’ Week

01 June 2023

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, has thanked volunteers for making a significant difference in policing communities across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Volunteers’ Week, from 1 to 7 June 2023, is an annual celebration that recognises the contributions made by millions of people who get involved and give back.

PCC Donna Jones said: “This week is all about celebrating the fantastic work of volunteers and here in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight we have a range of committed people who give up their free time to support the police such as Special Constables, those on mounted patrol who bolster rural policing as well as our Speedwatch co-ordinators who help officers clamp down on dangerous drivers.

“The contribution they all make to their communities and to policing across the two counties as a whole is invaluable, and we are so grateful for their dedication.

“Volunteers are at the heart of their neighbourhoods and with their knowledge and expertise they help officers bring about change, and they should rightly be celebrated this week and indeed every week.”

Many volunteers represent the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and for young people they can be part of the strategic Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG) or the Youth Commission (YC).

The YIAG is made up of young people who are independent from the police and they meet six times a year to review and challenge policing practices, while young people who are part of the YC help shape decisions about policing and crime.

16 year old Hayden, from Southampton, is a YIAG member. He says it’s a very beneficial role: “We have our voices heard and you know that the police respect and seek our opinions. I also like giving back to my local community and engaging with people at lots of different events.”

YC member Bryony is 22 years old and says her involvement is very rewarding: “My current role is being a mentor for the Domestic Abuse sub group which helps raise awareness and communicates with other young people about domestic abuse. I specifically joined the YC to help tackle violence against women and girls.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner holds an awards ceremony every year to thank staff and volunteers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Special Sergeant Daniel Van Gelder was awarded this year’s Police Special of the Year award. He says he loves getting involved: “My day job is as a chartered surveyor, which I love, but policing offers an opportunity to support my community.

“I’ve helped people at their most vulnerable and sometimes just been there as a friendly face. Recently, I stopped a male from jumping from a 14th storey rooftop, which took all of my physical and mental strength, but the feeling afterwards when I took him home safely can’t be matched.”

Rural policing across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight also benefits from volunteers on horseback. Yvonne is a Mounted Rural Patrol volunteer (MRP) who lives on the edge of the New Forest with her horse called Bubba: “I love getting out and about and meeting lots of lovely visitors to the New Forest, as it’s important to connect with people like this.”

It’s a family affair for John and Celia, from Hedge End, along with their daughter Sarah, who lives in Denmead, as they are all MRPs.

John says it’s a rewarding and satisfying role: “We are the eyes and ears on the ground and we look out for issues like fly-tipping, anti-social behaviour and any other criminal activity. Lots of people speak to us, ask advice and are genuinely appreciative of our efforts.”

Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) also play a vital part in the volunteering across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. ICVs are members of the local community who visit police stations unannounced to check on the treatment of detainees and the conditions in which they are being held.

Deepa is an ICV in North Hampshire: “I have been volunteering in this role for nearly a year and a half, and I enjoy talking to people from all walks of life and hearing their stories. It’s always rewarding to know that I have helped people to feel less alone, to understand their rights, and to get them the support they need.”

Voluntary initiative, Community Speedwatch, involves large numbers of dedicated people who support the police by monitoring the speed of drivers.

Stuart, who co-ordinates Sarisbury CSW, says their group is blessed to have so many involved: “We are prepared to support ops on most days, including weekends, and we supply regular data to the police for investigation. It’s a rewarding role which also gives the volunteers a sense of purpose.”

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