§ Mr. Denham
As part of the police reform process the Government are looking at measures to increase the size of the special constabulary. We are also currently looking at means of improving the management of special constables to ensure that they are deployed effectively to provide an increased visible police presence in our communities.
§ Mr. Denham
The number of serving special constables in England and Wales from 30 September 1997 to 30 September 2000 is set out in the table.
1997 1998 1999 2000 Total strength1 19,163 17,296 15,727 13,487 Strength in Wales 1,140 1,047 940 811 1 England and Wales
Home Office funded research into the premature wastage of special constables, completed last year, found that the primary reasons for leaving were often external to the service. However, the research identified some underlying management factors contributing to the decision to resign.
Recommendations aimed at reducing the wastage included making improvements to: the flexibility of duties and hours offered; the management structure within which specials operate; the quality of training provided locally; and local efforts to monitor and prevent wastage.
The Government are committed to increasing the special constabulary and as part of the police reform process we are looking at radical improvements in the management, welfare and deployment of special constables.