I am sending this request under the Freedom of Information Act to ask for the following information:
1) How many volunteer Special Constables do you currently have working for your force?
2) How many policing hours in your force were worked by volunteer Special Constables in the year from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015?
3) Please could you send me the equivalent figures for 2013-14 over the same period, and for 2012-2013 (1st April-31st March in each case).
4) Please could you provide a monthly breakdown of hours worked by Special Constables.
Please provide the information in an excel spreadsheet or csv format.
If you are unable to provide all of this information within the time or cost limit, please start with part 1, and work down the list until you reach the limit.
Please find below our response for question 1 and attached for questions 2 – 4.
Question 1 – As at 01/07/2015 West Midlands Police had 345 Special Constables.
Please note, not all figures are recorded on the attached as they are not available, the figures provided are the best we have.
Please note that these data should be interpreted with caution. Comparing numbers of crimes can be misleading and does not necessarily indicate the likelihood of someone being a victim of crime. In addition, the number of incidents/crimes recorded in an area over a period of time can be influenced by a number of factors. Consequently statistics on incidents/crimes for one period may not necessarily be a good indicator of future incidents in that area.
Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.
The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.
If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.