Police Support Volunteers
Join us - Volunteers video transcript
I’m Tony Keep, I work, or rather volunteer here at Sulhamstead Force Training Centre and I work in the museum as a volunteer there. I’m actually a retired Police Officer in Thames Valley, I joined Berkshire Constabulary in 1966 of which Sulhamstead was the headquarters of Berkshire constabulary and retired from Thames Valley in October 1995 as a Chief Inspector based in Reading.
I’ve been a volunteer since 2013; I initially applied for it when I became aware that they were specifically looking for volunteers to work in the force museum. I’ve always had an interest in history; I’ve had a connection with the Police force and in particular Sulhamstead since in fact December 1952.
In June of 1952, the Berkshire Constabulary moved out here from Reading and became their headquarters. My father was a civilian within the Berkshire constabulary and in December 1952, they had their first Christmas party for children here, well children in the afternoon, adults in the evening and I’ve got a picture here of me at the age of five sat on the bottom of the main staircase outside. Some might say I had an interest in the Police force then because I have a Police helmet on or a toy Policeman’s helmet.
I think it’s important to have a museum because we’re recording the history for new officers, members of the public etc. to know about the force that’s policing them, about the background of that force. In my role as a volunteer I not only do visits here for people wanting to go round the museum, and today we’ve had people going round looking at it who are attending here for a raft ceremony which is where officers that are completing their basic training, finish their basic training or rather their foundation training as it’s now called and going out onto stations for the first time. My role, seeing those round and explaining it and as a retired Police officer I can bring personal knowledge and understanding to some of those facts we’ve got on display.
The other thing I do as an officer is go out, or as a volunteer rather, is to go out and give talks to people. I specifically talk about areas that I’ve more detailed researched on, we researched the Great Train Robbery in October 2013; last year, 2014, I researched Police Officers killed in WW1 and displays are here in the museum about it. Current role is researching significant dates that have occurred in the 50 years of the Thames Valley Police which is coming up in 2018 and being a volunteer assists in bringing back into that organisation, my knowledge and this is where the role in the museum helps; I’m bringing back knowledge of times as they occurred when I was there, before computers, before radios, helping people to understand what it was like to patrol without a personal radio, how we used to do conference points and things of that nature. Brings a greater understanding to the organisation as a whole both by new police officers and by members of the public.
I think the role as a volunteer can be established as very much the nice-to-do functions because to have a full time person opening the museum as a paid person isn’t really a necessary function, it’s a nice function and that’s where the volunteers as a whole come in doing those nice functions to make the service provided by Thames Valley Police a better service.
Welcome to the Police Support Volunteer recruitment page.
The team was first established in 1997 to promote community involvement in policing through volunteering, now called Citizens in Policing. Individuals in the community are encouraged to become volunteers and use their skills, experience and knowledge to support Thames Valley Police in their work. Volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, are aged 16 and above (16 – 18 year olds need the permission of a parent or guardian) and have a desire to get involved. We pay out-of-pocket expenses and there are no minimum amount of hours you have to complete. Please note that unless there are exceptional circumstances, you will need to have lived in the UK for the last 3 years.
Please review available volunteer roles in Berkshire (opens new window), Buckinghamshire (opens new window) and Oxfordshire (opens new window) to see if they match your skills and availability. If you are interested in taking on one of these roles (apart from puppy development for which you need to email the address shown), the following application process applies:
- Complete an application form, mark down which role you wish to apply for and forward to Claire, Rosie or John – details below
- Attend an interview
- Complete security, health and reference checks
- Complete online training
- Complete role specific training if required
- Please note this process can take 2-3 months to complete.
No volunteer will be treated more or less favourably on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, religion or belief or disability.
Milton Keynes, email Caroline Saunders Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01908 686203/07974 126179
Buckinghamshire - email Claire Baker, Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01908 686209/07980 764801
Oxford City – email Claire Baker Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01908 686209/07980 764801
South and Vale/Cherwell & West Oxon – email Maria Hepworth Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01865 846241/07980 316269
Berkshire – email John Bramhall Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01865 845233/07800 702463
Headquarters – email Rosie White Citizens in Policing Coordinator or call 01865 846576/07976 911169