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A police force is recruiting unpaid volunteers to DRIVE officers around to ‘relieve pressure’ on staff

A police force is asking for unpaid volunteers to drive their officers around in a desperate attempt to take pressure off bobbies on the beat.

The six “driver support service” roles at Avon and Somerset Constabulary would work ten hour shifts moving officers from job to job, for no pay.

The force have said the scheme is designed to “relieve pressures on frontline officers”.

Cash strapped forces across the UK have lost thousands of officers after government cuts in the last decade, and have resorted to usual ways to make the most of the resources available.

Aside from running routine errands volunteers will also be expected to ensure accurate mileage and journey times are kept.

The scheme is due to be implemented this spring, and the working hours are 8am until 6pm with breaks.

The job is open to anyone over the age of 25 with a full driving licence and a ‘good knowledge’ of the Highway Code

Volunteers would be based at Patchway Police Centre in Bristol but would be expected to cover the entire area of the Avon and Somerset patch.

Drivers would receive daily requests from bobbies on the beat.

The job is open to anyone over the age of 25 with a full driving licence and a “good knowledge” of the Highway Code.

Perks of the job are described as “being a valued member of Avon and Somerset Constabulary.”

The job would involve tasks such as collecting medication for detainees and taking evidence and officers to court.

The benefits are “an opportunity to use your driving skills for the benefit of policing” and “contributing directly to improving the effectiveness of police officer time.”

Aside from running routine errands volunteers will also be expected to ensure accurate mileage and journey times are kept.

The scheme is due to be implemented this spring, and the working hours are 8am until 6pm with breaks.

The volunteers will work long days, but only once a week

Volunteers would be based at Patchway Police Centre in Bristol but would be expected to cover the entire area of the Avon and Somerset patch.

Drivers would receive daily requests from bobbies on the beat.

The job spec said: “We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated team of volunteers who can relieve some of the demand and pressures on our front line officers by providing a driver support service.

“This may involve delivering and collecting items or transporting police officers and their exhibits to and from court.”

Volunteers will have access to a fully insured unmarked vehicle with a sat nav, and mobile phone.

Temporary assistant chief constable Steve Cullen said: “This scheme is all about embracing trusted members of the community who wish to participate in policing and maximising the amount of time officers and staff spent carrying out their core roles.

“We anticipate the volunteer drivers helping with things like collecting detainee medication or supporting officers in dropping them off and collecting them to conduct enquiry in busy settings such as Bristol city centre.

“Not only does this enable our officers to keep working on mobile devices whilst being driven but it will ensure that our cars are being used efficiently and not tied up all day for one appointment.”

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