Jump to content

Specials split from staff association they now hope to replace


Recommended Posts

Members of new group want to represent all volunteers in policing.

Dale Checksfield is a founder member of the Volunteers in Law Enforcement Association

Dale Checksfield is a founder member of the Volunteers in Law Enforcement Association


A rival staff association for policing volunteers has been launched by former members of a long-established special constabulary group.

The Volunteers in Law Enforcement Association (VLEA) wants to “provide representation and legal support to special constables and volunteers in policing across the UK”.

It is hoping to become the designated official staff association for unpaid personnel in the police service – and is trying to stage a late entrance into the Home Office’s deliberations on the issue which were supposed to have concluded in 2016.

Durham Constabulary Chief Officer Dale Checksfield, national cyber specials lead Tom Haye and Wiltshire Special Superintendent Scott Bateman have founded the organisation.

Two of the three were until recently council members at the Association of Special Constabulary Officers, which recently expanded to open membership to all specials having previously represented higher special ranks.

In a statement, the new group said it wanted to provide representation for all types of volunteers in policing.

It says this is needed because of the increased number of volunteering roles in policing such as volunteer PCSOs and cyber volunteers.

S/CO Checksfield added: “The time is right for reform in representation and an inclusive organisation which fills the gap which current offerings do not provide in supporting those who give their time freely in our communities is much needed.”

Plans are at an early stage however, with VLEA membership currently being free but issues such as how it will offer legal support not yet worked out.

One of the organisation’s claimed selling points is its expressed desire to work with existing staff associations such as the Police Federation.

Police Oracle asked S/CO Checksfield to comment on the split from ASCO and why members of VLEA didn’t try to reform the existing organisation. He said he did not want to speak on the record about ASCO and referred us to the group’s press statement which does not mention its rival by name.

ASCO chairman Ian Miller pointed out that his association is a member of 13 national policing groups including the police advisory board of England and Wales, the NPCC's citizens in policing strategy board and the national fitness testing working group.

He added: “We’re aware of the small splinter group that are attempting to set up a competitive body for the special constabulary and we are not in the least concerned.

"We can never satisfy all of our members at the same time and the move to extend membership of ASCO to all special constabulary officers, regardless of rank, wasn’t supported by everyone.

"We doubt the group involved understands what’s involved in representing the special constabulary."

S/Commander Miller added he cannot see why the Home Office would re-open its consultation on specials representation for a group with "very limited capacity or experience".

He said ASCO cannot provide representation for other types of volunteer straight away as it needs to first focus on its expansion to cover all special constables, after which the organisation will be able to look at a further expansion.

View On Police Oracle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just what we need, more confusion and mess over who to turn to in case the tits get upwardly inclined.

first it was "the fed voted to allow specials so they'll help you while it gets sorted",

then "sorry the HO doesn't want specials to join the fed that so we can't help anymore", 

then "we have a member of the specials management who'll help with this sort of thing",

then "you need to use the HO insurance",

then "ASCO is opening up to allow anyone to join"

and now this...

All in the time it would take for a complaint to work its way through constantly changing the support provider and needing to go over the same ting time after time.

You wouldn't think this would be a difficult thing to have sorted out in the multiple decades that the specials have existed for. The HO should have just let us become sub paying members of the Fed, that would have sorted all this mess and given us the best cover as the Fed reps have all the contacts and know internal procedure already.

Edited by cookyy2k
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be concerned who is paying the lawyer in the event someone needed to use their services. Currently my union from work will cover any legal costs and representation (I did check), but not everyone is in that position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest that it is something to steer clear off. I have no idea why the Home Office stuck their beak in over the move for support from the Federation who, despite what some say, know what they are doing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...