A highly skilled group of volunteers have become an invaluable asset to an agency still developing its capabilities, deputy director reveals.
The organisation launched in October 2013 with 10 volunteer officers on board. A further 12 were recruited at the start of this summer and there are plans for another 14 to join early next year.
In an interview with PoliceOracle.com, Sarah Goodall, Deputy Director of the NCA, said that the highly skilled individuals were helping to fill a niche in areas, such as cybercrime and finance investigations, which otherwise would not be available.
She also stressed that the growth of the Agency’s volunteer capacity is being developed slowly in order to ensure that it has maximum impact.
“At the moment we’re not advertising for two specific reasons – one is we’re very keen we match the requirements to the demand we have to get it right,” she said. “We don’t just want to be swamping and not getting what we want, and we don’t want to waste their time as volunteers which their so kindly donating.
“As soon as one comes in we want to know exactly how we are going to use them.
“There has been a huge interest in NCA Specials, we’ve had nearly 100 expressions of interest from skilled professionals who want to volunteer their time which is fantastic,” she said.
And she revealed that the Agency is about to bring in a dedicated full time member of staff to best direct volunteers.
“At the moment our NCA specials do have a manager but it’s not a dedicated full time post – this will be dedicated with support across the Agency.”
Ms Goodall stressed that those joining as specials were bringing extra “world class” skills to the organisation rather than being a cheaper option for staffing.
“Rather than just getting several officers into some areas we’ve taken a step back to look in an ideal world what are those niche skills that we can’t afford to have 365 days a year – that wouldn’t be a good use of public money – but we could really do with tapping into.
“We’re really trying to make it as flexible as possible each role where we’ve bought someone in is a bespoke one. (The volunteers) have different requirements. We’re not putting in a set amount of hours which must be worked because for some things for our specials to do there may be a gap of weeks or even months at a time.
“It’s very much about what works for each scenario as opposed to needing a common standard.”
From Police Oracle