TEN voluntary police officers have been sworn in and are ready to start patrolling the streets of Essex.

The new special constables were issued their warrant cards during a virtual attestation ceremony at Essex Police's headquarters in Chelmsford.

Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan, Justice of the Peace Beverly Purvis and the Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner, all watched the new officers swear their oaths via a video link online.

The new special constables are James Warner and Evie Archer (Brentwood), Richard Raffell, James Stocker and Jack Taylor (Chelmsford), Olivia Erim (Colchester), Olivia Mathison (Loughton), William Miller (Maldom), Rachel Dingle (Rayleigh) and Noah Town (Southend).

Two of the volunteer officers have been supported through the Employer Supported Policing Scheme which see employers give staff paid leave so they can carry out policing duties.

There are 10 businesses involved in the scheme with Argos and Sainsbury’s releasing nine workers who are Special Constables.

Cat Barrie, who heads our Special Constabulary, said: “Firstly, I’d like to congratulate the Special Constables who received their warrant cards last week.

“I know many of you would have liked family and friends there and I’m sure they are just as proud. I want to thank you in your commitment in keeping Essex a safer place.

“Secondly, I want to thank the organisations who are allowing workers to go on paid leave in order to work shifts with us. I am indebted to you all.

“I particularly want to thank Argos and Sainsbury’s who have allowed many members of staff to do this.

“I’ve personally written to both organisations to thank them for their assistance – together we are united in creating a safer Essex.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, added: “This is a fantastic commitment from Sainsbury’s and Argos.

“They are already helping the community so much during this crisis in terms of supplying the county but now to allow members of staff who volunteer as Special Constables to take paid time off to help support frontline policing is truly to be commended.”

Other companies agreeing to release staff include Waitrose in Saffron Walden, SB Civil Engineering in Sawbridgeworth and Public Sewer Services in Rochford.

If you are an employer who wants to join the Employer Supported Policing scheme, visit essex.police.uk.