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​Celebrating Met volunteers this National Volunteers' Week

News   •   Jun 01, 2020 06:00 BST

Thousands of people who give up their own time to help keep London safe are being celebrated as part of National Volunteers’ Week from Monday, 1 June.

The Met’s 20,000 volunteers, special constables and cadets play a vital role in helping to fight crime and have been supporting officers throughout the pandemic period to keep Londoners safe.

The volunteers work across the Met. Whether it is delivering crime prevention leaflets, working alongside neighbourhood or specialist crime teams or assisting police at events across the capital, the volunteers are a true asset to the Met. 

Volunteer Lucian Fernando, said: “I joined the Met to help out during the coronavirus pandemic, especially as there has been an increase in scams. I help with leaflet drops and weapons sweeps in parks and public places. I enjoy being part of the Met family to protect the community and cut crime.”

Commander Catherine Roper, said: “The 20,000 strong Met volunteering family are out in their communities across London every day helping to prevent crime and keep Londoners safe. Many people who have been furloughed from their day jobs have joined as volunteers since the outbreak of the pandemic to do their bit during these challenging times. It’s an honour to work with them and I’m extremely grateful to the time they give. 

“Volunteers have delivered thousands of crime prevention booklets and are checking in with the most vulnerable to tackle online fraud and scams. I would like to reassure that they will never ask you for any personal details, like your bank account information. If this happens, stop the conversation and report it immediately. 

“We have special constables who give their spare time and have done so for many years to help police London. I’d also like to highlight the incredible work of our cadets who help the most vulnerable in their communities.”

The Met has seen an increase in the interest in volunteering as people see the vital role of the police during this crisis. In the last three months, more than 1,100 people have signed up as Met volunteers, and special constables have contributed over 135,000 policing hours. We have also seen a number of former officers returning as volunteers or specials. 

On Saturday, 16 May the Metropolitan Special Constabulary, with the volunteers, were out in force across London to provide reassurance and tackle criminality. On that day they made 12 arrests, carried out 61 weapons sweeps and dispersed 341 groups as lockdown rules were explained and people encouraged to return home. They also removed knives, a firearm and drugs from the streets of London.

Retired Inspector Philip Spaul has returned to the Met as a special constable. He said: “I worked for the Met for 30 years and retired a year ago. I’m now volunteering as a special constable and my first shift back was in Woolwich town centre where I first started my Met career. I’m proud to be a special and to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. If every one of us does a bit to help, I know that it will make a huge difference.”

If you think you could play a part in making London a safer place and volunteer with the Met, visit our website