Fedster + 1,307 Posted May 21, 2018 Share Posted May 21, 2018 Members of new group want to represent all volunteers in policing. 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 More sharing options...
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
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now