An 18-year-old has become the first ever police support volunteer in North Devon.
Millie Vincent, from Chittlehamholt, is currently working as a volunteer at South Molton Police Station for around four hours a week.
It is a new initiative introduced by Devon and Cornwall Police, with support from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, to enable the public to support their local police through a wide variety of roles.
PC Graham James at South Molton has been working with Millie for the post two months to introduce her to her new role.
He said: “It is important to stress that the volunteers are not being brought in to replace current staff or do their work, or indeed carry out roles that had been done by staff who have since been made redundant.”
Exeter College student Millie enquired about volunteer work to get some experience under her belt as she works towards a degree in policing and a career as a police officer.
The force is keen to hear from anyone who wises to become a volunteer and they can be from all ages and walks of life, helping with everything from admin and crime prevention work to keeping their communities informed and carrying out research.
PC James said: “Millie’s specific benefit to us is we are looking to tap into the younger people across the district and to increase and make efficient use of social media.
“We can get a very effective message out there very quickly by doing that. It needs to come into the 21st century and there’s more work we can do with young people.”
As she grows in to the role she will also support officers with other aspects such as liaising with parish councils with a regular newsletter plus other admin work as required.
Millie said: “I wanted to get something under my belt experience-wise and I also get to play an active part in my community.
“I wanted a role where I could help people, where I get a diverse role every day and have achieved something each day.
“I am starting to feel part of the set up and everyone has been very welcoming.”
To find out about becoming a police support volunteer in your area, go to https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/your-right-to-information/our-people/recruitment/police-support-volunteers/ .