§ Mr. Colin Shepherd
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the assistance provided by special constables in routine police patrolling.
§ Mr. Howard
No specific assessment has been made. Her Majesty's inspectors of constabulary are told that specials spend a large part of their time on duty supporting regular police officers on patrol, and that this support is of real value to regular officers and the local community.
The Government recognise the importance of police foot patrol to members of the public, even in low crime areas. I recently announced the launch of a new type of special constables—the neighbourhood constable—who will patrol, on foot, their own neighbourhood.