Police Support Volunteers

Police support volunteers are helping us in our mission to keep Northumbria one of the safest places to live, work and visit. Find out more about how you can get involved and give back to your community with #teamnp.

Our volunteer opportunities

We’re constantly evolving our range of opportunities for Northumbria Police support volunteers, here’s how you could get involved in our work:

Our volunteer opportunities

We’re constantly evolving our range of opportunities for Northumbria Police support volunteers, here’s how you could get involved in our work:

Rural Crime Volunteers

Rural Crime Volunteer

Community speed watch picture

Community Speed Watch

NVWS
Volunteer

Assistant Cadet Leader in hi-visibility jacket in front of checked van.

Assistant Cadet Leader

Wellbeing Dog Handler

Memorial Garden Maintenance

Mini Police Programme Support

Rural Crime Volunteer

As a rural crime volunteer with Northumbria Police you’ll become the eyes and ears of the rural community. It’s a rewarding role that our current volunteers say makes them feel like they’re ‘doing their bit’ to look after their home patch.

Rural Crime recruitment is now closed and will reopen in 2025. If you would like to find out more information about the role, please email the Rural Crime Team using the button below.

You’ll be working alongside our serving officers to gather on-the-ground intelligence and help to prevent crime in rural areas. It a unique chance to get involved in large scale police operations that target suspects, tackle off-road disorder, drug supply, anti-social behaviour and organised crime in rural areas.

You’ll help us to share important crime prevention messages among rural communities, using your contacts and networks to spread the word.

While rural crime volunteers don’t have powers of arrest, they do have access to police equipment and information, like using police radio channels to share intelligence during operations.

Our volunteers come from all sorts of rural backgrounds including gamekeepers, estate managers and farmers. They come from far and wide – from the border with Cumbria down to the outskirts of Durham.

To join the scheme, volunteers should already have a good understanding of local crime and wildlife concerns in their areas.

As part of our wider police family, all volunteers should demonstrate honesty and act with integrity. It’s important that you have the skills to engage with people in a non-confrontational way that would put your own safety and that of others at risk.

We will of course provide you with full training for the role. The structured course involves committing to a one day induction event followed by continuous professional development events across the year.

Your training focuses on how to report and share with us things that you come across.

After the initial training, it’s entirely up to you how much time you dedicate to being a rural crime volunteer. However, we do ask that you attend one Rural Crime Operation per year and one Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Event per year as a minimum.

Many of our volunteers find that the role fits in well with their day to day life, as you’ll already be based in a rural community and will naturally see and hear of issues that you think may be worth reporting to officers.

You’ll also be invited to take part in specialist operations, like the long-running Operation Checkpoint – the biggest rural op of its kind in the country.

Community Speed Watch

Community speed watch is a national initiative which plays a vital role in helping to reduce speeding vehicles. As a community speed watch volunteer you’ll play an active role in educating drivers on the importance of road safety and improving road safety within your local area.

Community Speed Watch volunteer recruitment is now open until 17th June 2024. If you would like to apply for this programme, please email Citizens in Policing using the button below. Please include your home location, to ensure there is a scheme near you.

Community Speed Watch is a national initiative which plays a vital role in helping to reduce speeding vehicles. The initiative aims to educate drivers on the importance of road safety.

As a volunteer, you’ll be working in conjunction with our officers to gather information on those speeding and offending on the roads. You’ll play a crucial role in helping to keep our roads and communities safe. Not only will you help to raise awareness and deter speeding, you will also help to reduce noise pollution and improve the quality of life in your community.

Full training will be given prior to becoming a volunteer. You will be issued a digital handbook which will give a full overview of the role, alongside guidance to speed gun operation and roadside health and safety. An officer will accompany you on your very first Speed Watch duty.

Once fully trained, you’ll work in a team of two to four volunteers. Then you’ll visit 20mph and 30mph roads of your choice with a radar to record the speed and registration number of the offending vehicles. You will use equipment to capture:

  • Speed
  • Registration number
  • Vehicle make, model and colour
  • Time and direction of travel

A portable speed sign will warn drivers of your presence and will act as a reminder to consider their speed as they approach. You will wear a Hi-Viz tabard and carry an ID card to identify yourself as a Police Support Volunteer.

We ask that you volunteer a minimum of two hours per month if you are able, however we would encourage you to offer your time only as and when is suitable. We do ask that you volunteer during daylight hours only and in safe weather conditions.

Community Speed Watch spans 2000 square miles. That’s from the top of our force area in Berwick-upon-Tweed to the bottom Houghton-le-Spring. There are set scheme locations in all force areas, so please contact citizensinpolicing@northumbria.police.uk to ensure there is an active scheme in or near your area! Each scheme has an assigned single point of contact (SPOC) officer who will support you in role.

While you are able to select any 20mph or 30mph road for Community Speed Watch duty, your SPOC may also ask you to deploy (within reasonable travelling distance) to problem roads which exceed your immediate locality – however this is entirely up to you to accept.

While speed targeting operations may require you to attend certain locations, often you will liaise directly with other Speed Watch volunteers and decide together which areas you visit.

Northumbria Victim and Witness Service Volunteer

Northumbria Victim and Witness Service (NVWS) is a confidential victim referral and support service. Volunteers will support staff in providing emotional and practical support and advice following a crime, alongside referrals to specialist services to aid cope and recovery for victims and witnesses. This is not specialist counselling or therapy, but a friendly listening ear to support individuals in their recovery journey.

NVWS volunteer recruitment is now closed and will reopen 1st November 2024. If you would like to find out more information about the role, please email Citizens in Policing using the button below.

As a volunteer, you will make contact with victims and witnesses to provide low level emotional support based on the individual’s needs. This could range from a one-off conversation to longer term regular support via phone calls or face-to-face meetings, depending on the individual needs and recovery journey of the victim.

Support will be provided for a wide range of crimes including burglary, assault, theft, and public order. Volunteers will return regular updates to their Unit Supervisor to ensure that cases are accurately recorded.

Our volunteers come from all backgrounds and communities! Communication, integrity, reliability, and empathy are key skills we look for in this role. Volunteers will encounter victims and witnesses who have experienced traumatic and difficult situations, and therefore volunteers should be non-judgemental and supportive.

All NVWS volunteers are provided with full training and accreditation via online courses, and will be required to complete a training portfolio with support and guidance from the team. Volunteers are trained in how to react to and speak with the individuals, and are managed by the Unit Supervisor.

After some time in role, you could have the opportunity to undertake additional training in specialist areas such as Domestic and Sexual Violence, which will enable you to support a wider cohort of victims.

Volunteers are asked to contribute a minimum of four hours per week during training, and ideally two hours per week once training is complete, due to the nature of the work. However, there is flexibility within this time commitment; we do ask that if these hours cannot be given, you commit as close to this as you are able.

The majority of volunteering can be undertaken from home, with some office visits for meetings and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) opportunities where appropriate.

Assistant Cadet Leader

Assistant Cadet Leaders support our well established Cadet Programme under the supervision of the unit Cadet Leader. This rewarding role will develop your leadership skills, allow you to inspire our cadets, supervise them in their duties, and ensure the smooth running of our weekly sessions. You’ll get involved in various activities and events, ensuring our scheme is the best it can be in representing our local community.

Applications for Assistant Cadet Leader volunteer recruitment is now open until 12th June 2024. If you would like to apply for this programme, please apply using the button below.

Assistant Cadet Leaders will support the Cadet Leader in leading the Cadet Unit. This will include supervising and supporting the cadets during sessions and events, dealing with issues, and providing a high-quality service to the public. You will be a role model and inspiration to young people, sharing new experiences and helping them to learn more about themselves and what they are capable of. You’ll get to meet lots of different people, some of them from the local community, others from the Northumbria Policing family.

There’s also an opportunity to get involved in the running of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, supporting the development of individual cadets, and identifying areas in which we can improve.

You don’t need to come from a policing background to join us! Experience of working with young people (whether that be through a previous volunteer role or in a professional capacity) is beneficial, but is not a requirement for the role.

You need to have a good level of resilience and patience, as our cadets are between the ages of 13 – 18 years old. We want to provide a great service to our young people; therefore, you’ll need to be passionate about helping others and able to communicate effectively. Cadets are regularly active in external community events, and therefore organisational and planning skills are essential to ensure you can support the Cadet Leader. If you have these skills, we’ll ensure you receive support and training from experienced officers and staff that will help you become a great Assistant Cadet Leader.

You should be at least 18 years of age and must live within reasonable travelling distance to the Cadet Unit.

All Assistant Cadet Leaders will complete an induction period which will include thorough role based training and online training modules.

It’s an essential requirement (Protection of Freedoms Act 2012) for all Forces delivering Volunteer Police Cadet (VPC) activities to ensure all leaders have a DBS check; this will be carried out before you commence in role.

Our cadet groups meet for 2 hours per week on an evening during school term time. The cadets also complete various training days throughout the year where we’d require your support. Naturally – we understand with any volunteer role that you will have other commitments to consider, therefore if you have any questions, please get in touch.

There are six Cadet Units throughout the force area: one in Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, and South Tyneside. In addition to attending weekly cadet sessions, training days and cadet events will be held at various locations across the force area which you may be asked to participate in. Some national activities may also take place across the country.

Wellbeing Dog Handler

Dog ownership required! Wellbeing Dog Handler volunteers will visit police stations and hubs with their OK9 accredited Wellbeing Dog. They will support the Northumbria Police workforce by engaging with staff, officers, and volunteers, encouraging discussion, and promoting mental health and wellbeing information.

Wellbeing Dog Handler recruitment is now closed. If you have any questions about the role, or would like to know when applications will re-open please email our Citizens in Policing team.

Wellbeing Dog Handler volunteers will support the Northumbria Police workforce by bringing their OK9 accredited dog to police stations and hubs upon request, with visits being coordinated by the Wellbeing team.

Volunteers will provide support and wellbeing information to the workforce, accompanied by either a member of the Wellbeing team, a colleague trained in Mental Health First Aid, or a Blue Light Wellbeing Ambassador. They will also promote mental health awareness and signpost for further support where necessary. Wellbeing Dogs help to get people talking; they encourage communication and create expressions of genuine feeling just by being friendly and non-judgemental!

Interactive sessions with the Wellbeing Dog can provide light relief from the rigours of the everyday; research has shown that dogs can have a positive impact on emotional states, particularly in terms of enhancing positive feelings and reducing anxiety levels. Surveys have also found that the presence of dogs in the workplace meant lower stress levels, increased social interactions, and an improved atmosphere in the office.

All candidates will complete an online application form, and successful candidates will be invited to an in-person interview at Etal Lane police station. Your dog will also undergo an OK9 Wellbeing Dog Suitability Assessment with Northumbria Police Dog Trainers, to ensure they have the correct temperament and behaviours to undertake the role. Where possible, both candidate interview and dog assessment will take place on the same day.

Candidates who are successful in both interview and dog suitability assessment will undergo NPPV vetting.

Volunteers will undertake two online courses: a ‘Peer Support’ course and an ‘OK9 Wellbeing and Trauma Dog Handler’ course.

Annual Mental Health/Wellbeing refresher training will be issued as appropriate. The Wellbeing Dog will also undergo regular assessments to ensure continued suitability.

We ask that you volunteer a minimum of 4 hours per month if you are able, and a maximum of 3 hours per week. Of course, this will depend on the number of visit requests received throughout your force area!

Each visit will last no more than one hour.

You will be aligned to the relevant Area Command as per your home location (Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, or South Tyneside). Visit requests from police teams located within your Area Command will be offered to you, if you are available to attend on the requested date and time. All visit requests will be coordinated by the Wellbeing team, who will liaise with you in advance.

Of course, we understand that with any volunteer role you will have other commitments to consider, therefore if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Memorial Garden Maintenance 

The Memorial Garden is in place to remember those who have passed away in the course of their policing duties. The Memorial Garden Maintenance volunteer will support the Estates team and provide upkeep to the garden to ensure it is clean and well-tended!

Memorial Garden Maintenance recruitment is now closed. If you have any questions about the role, or would like to know when applications will re-open please email our Citizens in Policing team.

The Memorial Garden Maintenance volunteer will maintain the memorial garden based at Middle Engine Lane. This will include weeding, watering and tending plants, clearing dead leaves, removing debris/litter, and tidying the plant, benches and path areas.

The garden is open to the public and so the volunteer may interact with visitors, being mindful that some may be friends or relatives of those the garden is honouring.

We ask that you visit the garden ideally once per fortnight, to ensure the garden area is clean, tidy, and well kept. Volunteering should only be undertaken in daylight hours and in safe weather conditions! Gardening equipment will be provided.

The Memorial Garden is based at Middle Engine Lane police station, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mini Police Support Programme

The Mini Police Programme Support volunteer will provide support to the Citizens in Policing (CiP) team by liaising with schools and other police forces to identify and share good practice, undertaking research, and helping to raise the profile of the scheme.

Mini Police Support recruitment is now closed. If you have any questions about the role, or would like to know when applications will re-open please email our Citizens in Policing team.

The Mini Police programme is an innovative and well-established engagement scheme aimed at children in Year 5 (9 – 10 years). There are Mini Police schools across the force area within Northumbria; designated police officers and staff will engage with schools to deliver lessons, deployments, and rewards each school term. The scheme aims to encourage good citizenship by giving young people the opportunity to participate positively in the community, and learn about their safety and policing issues.

The Mini Police Programme Support volunteer will add value within the CiP team by supporting internal and external stakeholders, regularly liaising with Mini Police schools and officers to identify activity and good practice, and undertaking research to share and benefit from learning.

The CiP team are agile workers; this role will be a hybrid role largely volunteering from home, with an opportunity to join the CiP team in the office once per month.

Experience of working with young people and/or in an education setting is desirable but not essential! You should have good administrative and ICT skills, with the ability to communicate information clearly and succinctly both verbally and in writing. You should also have the ability to build strong working relationships.

Due to the information you may access, an enhanced DBS check will be conducted before you commence in role.

We ask that you volunteer 8 hours per month if you are able, however we would encourage you to offer your time only as and when is suitable. This time can be split and does not need to be undertaken in one day.

Ready to volunteer with #teamnp but need more information?