Officer wins Young Volunteer Award

A Special Constable has been awarded ‘Young Volunteer Award’ at the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action Awards.

Photograph of Laura with her certificate

Special Inspector Laura Williams from North Wales Police’s Special Constabulary received her ‘Best Young Volunteer in Conwy’ award at last week’s ceremony held in Llandudno Junction.

The 24-year-old, who works full time in a Conwy pub, was nominated by Specials Chief Inspector James Cook and Specials Chief Officer Mark Owen.

She is responsible for leading and managing the 20 strong Special Constabulary team in the West Conwy district, covering the busy coastal areas of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay.

Laura has made an incredible journey through the policing family starting in the North Wales Police Volunteer Cadets. In July 2012 she joined the Special Constabulary and was posted to Llandudno Police Station where she very quickly commenced work on her Professional Development Plan. Under the supervision of a paid police officer Laura completed all the competencies quickly and was awarded Independent Patrol Status and was soon able to contribute to the vision of a Safer North Wales by becoming involved local high visibility patrols around the West Conwy policing district.

Specials Chief Inspector James Cook said: “Her ability to patrol independently was of significant benefit to the regular constabulary due to the fact she could attend incident without supervision from regular officers, deal with those incidents and if required carry out any follow up work – including case files. It is of note that at the point Laura was being considered for independent patrol status, the supporting statement from her mentor highlighted some of the complex case files Laura had worked on and who she had carried out this work very professionally.” Photograph of Laura with James Cook

“In 2015 Laura was promoted to the rank of Special Sergeant and was allocated the responsibility of delivering Operation UNOL – a high visibility community engagement operation aimed at reducing anti-social behaviour and promoting public confidence in North Wales Police. Laura and her team delivered regular high levels of patrols as part of the operation and in 2015 she carried out 289 hours of unpaid police work.”

Laura’s performance soon came to the attention of the Special Constabulary Senior Management Team and following a restructure in 2016 she was promoted to the rank of Special Inspector for the West Conwy district.

Since taking command of the Special Constabulary Team in West Conwy in July 2016 she has led the team to complete 3,325 voluntary hours on district.

In January 2017 she was tasked with her biggest challenge yet which was the delivery of the security element at the high profile funeral of a retired North Wales Chief Constable. Laura delivered that input without falter and the leadership Laura demonstrated that day was highlight by a Chief Inspector from the regular constabulary Senior Management Team. 

Specials C.I Cook added: “Over the course of her Special Constabulary career, Laura has consistently demonstrated a very high level of professionalism and has coped extremely well with what is a very demanding role at times. Laura has shown that she is able to effectively manage a team of other volunteers and motivate that team to achieve its goals.  It is also noted that Laura has been able to show a level of maturity and leadership that belies her age and to the extent that she is now not out of place amongst her paid counterparts at Inspector level.”

Specials Chief Officer Mark Owen said: “Laura epitomises everything that is positive about volunteering. She is a role model for others and was very much a deserving candidate for this award. We are very proud of everything she has achieved.”

Members of the North Wales Police Special Constabulary are volunteers who perform a full range of police duties, have the same powers, wear the same uniform and are issued with the same equipment as all other Police Officers. The only real difference being that they are unpaid and give up their time freely for the benefit of the community.

North Wales Police are currently recruiting Special Constables and further information including the application process and eligibility requirements is available here.

Further information regarding the WCVA (Welsh Council for Voluntary Action) is available via their website http://www.wcva.org.uk/