A Special Constable has spoken of his life on the beat to mark International Volunteer Day.
Paul Kirkham joined South Yorkshire Police as a Special in March and gives about 100 hours a month of his free time.
He works from both College Road police station in the town centre and the Mexborough Safer Neighbourhood Area, working alongside regular police officers on tasks as diverse as searching for missing people and breathalysing drivers to patrolling football matches and directing traffic.
The 41-year-old, who lives in a village in south west Doncaster with his wife and child, said: “I have thrown myself into the role of Special Constable with gusto, volunteering for as many different duties as possible to gain a wide experience of policing. No two shifts are ever the same and, although sometimes challenging, are personally rewarding.”
Paul joined up with the force after taking redundancy to care for his wife, who was ill.
He explained: “In my field of employment, writing ‘career break to care for my wife’ on my CV has not proved beneficial. The term ‘Special Constable’ with brief details of what the role entails has interested potential employers, demonstrated a recent work history and made me more employable.
“I believe that there is no better job than working to protect your own family and community. It is an honour to serve the public.”
South Yorkshire Police is encouraging people to sign up to be a Special Constable for International Volunteer Day.
Applicants should be 18 to 65 years old, be able to work a minimum of 16 hours a month and be living, working or studying in South Yorkshire. For more information about the roles, call 01709 832353 or visit www.southyorks.police.uk.