Jason Morley-Smith - Temporary Chief Officer for Special Constabulary
I have been part of the Special Constabulary with Thames Valley Police for the past 16 years. I am a natural volunteer having joined the St John Ambulance as a volunteer aged eight (and have been with them ever since).
I have always wanted to be a police officer, but because of the height restriction I was not eligible and once this was changed and height restriction removed, I applied to join the Specials.
My day job is in the NHS as the Lead Clinical Site Manager and Site Lead for the oldest hospital in London, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, where I am responsible for the whole hospital site and manage several clinical teams within the hospital. My other volunteer role is as the District Clinical Manager (London Region) for Information Governance and Regulation of Healthcare Professionals, ensuring public protection and immediate care for those attending mass public events across London, so I guess I have a leaning towards the emergency services.
As chief officer I advise and work with the senior management team at TVP with regards the Special Constabulary, best practice, welfare, strategic direction and professional standards.
We try to take into account that specials put in 16 – 18 hours a month but might not always want to just work on Friday and Saturday nights in a town centre, so we have dedicated teams at Roads Policing bases and rural crime and within our domestic violence units. This enables people to learn a variety of skills.
We also have dedicated units at events such as the Reading Festival. Last year we had over 150 specials at Reading Festival policing the event and the team won the South East Regional Award for the Special Constabulary team of the year. This award is an annual competition between all 6 forces in the South East region, recognising the Special Constabulary, where either individuals or a team have “made a difference” or “contributed to wider community and policing engagements”. This award panel is chaired by the regional lead, an Assistant Chief Constable on behalf of the National Police Chief Council portfolio holder.
We are also teaming up with our police cadets to do the security detail for this year’s Force Open Day on 6 August....a huge and prestigious event where we are responsible for the safety of the public and the police.