Lowestoft special constable tells of important role volunteer officers play in the community
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
From supporting police officers on foot patrols to attending major incidents, special constables serve a vital role in communities across the county.
And this month Suffolk Police is launching a New Year #CouldYouBeSpecial campaign to attract more recruits into the Special Constabulary.
Being a member of the Special Constabulary offers a range of opportunities to volunteer within the community in a role that offers a flexible balance with home life commitments.
One special, who works as part of Lowestoft Police force, is mother-of-two Holly Rackham from Barnby.
Mrs Rackham, 41, said: 'There's such camaraderie here and the team are all friends. 'Before I had children I was a line manager for a parcel delivery company- but it was not fitting in with my family life.
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'The police are very accommodating and give you a lot of support but specials still go to jobs like stabbings or car park ticketing but we always have support on the other end of a radio if we need it.'
A normal working week for Holly Rackham sees her working five shifts between 9.30am and 2.30pm or 9am and 3pm - which she explains are shift patterns that enable her to take and collect her children, April, five, and Lewis, nine, to and from school each day.
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'My husband Stephen and my family are very supportive and I have a very good friends and mother-in-law but the nice thing is I can come in a 9.30am, after doing the school run, and then go out and do a foot patrol - it is very flexible,' said Mrs Rackham.
She added: 'I really enjoy meeting all sorts of diverse people, going on foot patrols and having people come up to you and shaking you by the hand as they appreciate seeing a 'Bobby on the beat' .
'The job has given me a huge amount of confidence and I have never regretted my decision to do it - in fact its best decision I have made in years.'
If you are 18 years or older, in good health and of good character, you can apply to be a special constable and full training will be provided.
For more information, visit www.suffolk.police.uk/join-us
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