TV star Penny Lancaster has spoken of being “inspired” by the contribution voluntary police officers, “Specials”, make to policing in Cambridgeshire.
Lancaster, who went out on the frontline in Cambridgeshire as part of the TV series Famous and Fighting Crime, spoke out as Volunteers’ Week began across the country.
Until Thursday (7 June), hundreds of events are taking place to mark the annual campaign, which was established in 1984 and recognises the contribution volunteers make to communities every day.
Penny was paired with a Special constable for the Channel 4 series, which was broadcast earlier this year, and saw her pursue a shoplifter, help solve a serious assault and assist in dealing with a threatening man who was high on drugs.
Penny, who is married to singer Rod Stewart and is a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women, said: “My time filming with Cambridgeshire police for Famous and Fighting Crime was a revelation. I was so impressed by the work the police do all the time, which often goes unseen.
“The fact that some officers do their role in their spare time, without pay, and alongside a regular career, was just inspiring. I experienced first hand how they put themselves in harm’s way and go towards danger when others are running away.”
In April, Penny became a patron for the charity Care of Police Survivors (COPS), which supports families of police officers and staff who die on duty.
Chief Constable Nick Dean praised all the people who volunteered to support policing in Cambridgeshire.
He said: “We have great, professional and committed volunteers across the whole of policing and here in Cambridgeshire is no different; from police cadets and their leaders, to Special Constabulary members, to members of the public who assist us within the organisation, I am sure there are many more. Their work never goes unnoticed or unappreciated.”
In 2018/19, Specials completed nearly 7900 duties, which equates to more than 51,000 hours worked.
The Cambridgeshire force currently has about 220 Specials.