Ten days extra leave for council staff who volunteer as special constables
COUNCIL staff are to be given extra time off from work so they can volunteer with police to plug the gap in front line services.
Basildon council is allowing civil servants who help Essex Police by doubling up as special constables to be released for up to 10 days across the year from their jobs in order “to give back to their communities”.
The scheme involves local authority workers swapping their daily role for life on the streets where daily challenges will include tackling drug dealers and shoplifters. Special Constable Gordon Humphries, who works as a planning officer at the council, is one of those who will go on duty during work hours once every five weeks. Backers of the initiative believe volunteering as “Specials” will teach workers skills which will benefit their day jobs. Scott Logan, Basildon council’s chief executive, said: “As an employer with a lot of staff who live locally, we believe this scheme is an effective and powerful way for us to invest in our staff and our local communities.
“We are committed to supporting our staff with flexible working.” Superintendent Simon Anslow, head of the Special Constabulary, said: “Our Special Constabulary is the fastest growing in the country and our volunteer police officers are making a massive difference to Essex communities. I hope that other employers see what Basildon council are doing and take note.”