Volunteers have been thanked by the chief constable and police and crime commissioner for all their help to support policing in Cambridgeshire.

It comes as part of National Volunteers week, which starts today (June 1) and runs until June 7.

Hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to mark the annual campaign, which was established in 1984 and recognises the contribution volunteers make to communities every day.

Chief Constable Alec Wood and PCC Jason Ablewhite sent their gratitude to the many volunteers, from Specials to police support volunteers and cadet leaders, for their valuable work.

This weekend is national Specials Weekend, when Specials will be out and about showcasing the vital support they provide to regular officers throughout England and Wales.

In 2017/18, Specials completed about 7900 duties, which equates to more than 52,000 hours worked. The force currently has just over 200 Specials.

Chief Constable Alec Wood said: "With demand on policing at an all-time high, the contribution by volunteers has never been so crucial.

"I would like to thank each and every one of them for the hours they give, for no remuneration, but a certain knowledge they have supported our efforts to fight crime and keep people in Cambridgeshire safe.

"Volunteering with the force is a unique opportunity to give something back to the community and get involved in some very valuable and rewarding work. For example, Specials get involved in the exciting world of frontline policing, including specialist areas, and gain professional training, skills and experience.

"I would encourage anyone else who wants to do something worthwhile in their spare time to visit the recruitment pages of our website."

Charlotte Baughan, 20, from St Neots, fits shifts in at weekends and during her holidays. She is studying psychology and business at Aston University in Birmingham.

She said: "The variety in the role as a Special is amazing and I am never sure what to expect at the start of each shift. This variety, plus the sense of contributing to society, is what makes being in the police so special.

"My advice is to research the role properly before you join. Being a Special can be demanding and requires a commitment, but the rewards and the sense of satisfaction in a job well done make it worthwhile."

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: "Volunteers play a hugely important role in keeping our communities safe. The Chief Constable and I both recognise the enormous contribution our volunteers make, and are constantly impressed by their level of commitment, professionalism and determination.

"Whilst we recognise that people are able to make different levels of commitment, whatever they give makes a difference and is hugely valued."