The police and the public are to join forces under a pilot volunteering scheme being launched by Suffolk Police in March.
The initiative will be trialled in Bungay, Beccles, Eye, Stanton, Long Melford and Woodbridge, where volunteers will become the ‘eyes and ears’ of their communities for three to four months.
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “This was a commitment I had when I was re-elected 18 months ago to see if we could expand the network of volunteers and special constables throughout the county.
“The idea is to see how viable and effective this process would be. It’s a very good example of communities helping themselves and being the eyes and ears to what’s going on.
“It’s going back to what traditional policing was all about - the police are the public and the public are the police. It’s a two way process.”
Volunteers will wear tabards and look out for any suspicious or criminal behaviour while out in the community.
They will then report back to their local Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) who will deal with the crimes. They will not have powers of detention.
“We think that gathering all this extra information will be very helpful indeed,” said Mr Passmore.
“Sometimes it’s the very last piece of evidence that solves a crime and this could really help us access all the details we need to know.
“I think it could be an exciting scheme and I’m very pleased that all six areas in the pilot are on board with it.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops and whether or not it can be rolled out across the rest of the county.”
If you are interested in volunteering, email the police support volunteer co-ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org.