ASCO was first established in 2005 as ASCCO (the Association of Special Constabulary Chief Officers) and has been acting as the ‘voice of Special Constables’ in development of national policing strategy, policy and legislation since that time.
In 2018 we became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission in England and Wales with the following objectives:
(1) THE PROMOTION OF THE EFFICIENCY OF THE POLICE BY, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROVIDING AND FACILITATING THE GIVING OF INFORMATION, ADVICE, AND TRAINING TO SPECIAL CONSTABLES; AND
(2) THE ADVANCEMENT OF CITIZENSHIP AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH THE PROMOTION OF VOLUNTEERING AND PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE PREVENTION AND SOLUTION OF CRIME
FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PUBLIC IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, AND WALES, THE ISLE OF MAN, GUERNSEY AND ANY OTHER BRITISH OVERSEAS TERRITORY OR CROWN DEPENDENCY WHO MAY, FROM TIME TO TIME, EMPLOY SPECIAL CONSTABLES.
We are proud to be the first national charity to represent and celebrate the role of Special Constables across the UK – a recognition of the public benefit provided by the skills, effort and thousands of hours that Special Constables contribute to policing each year.
We are recognised as the professional body for Special Constables by the Home Office, College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and Independent Office of Police Conduct. We also work closely with the Police Federation of England & Wales and the Police Superintendents’ Association to improve the experience, support and recognition of Special Constables in policing.
Our purpose is to develop the contribution of Special Constables to policing and public safety by:
- Supporting Special Constables to maintain wellbeing and professional standards of practice and conduct
- Representing the views of the Special Constables to influence policing strategy, policy and professional practice
- Promoting and celebrating the role and value of Special Constables within policing
We do this through a range of activities which include:
- Representing the views of our members and of the wider Special Constabulary to the government, National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), College of Policing and others shaping policy on policing.
- Providing information and advice to members, and signposting to other sources of information, advice and support.
- Providing advice, advocacy, and support for Special Constables subject to misconduct or similar proceedings to facilitate fair process and identify opportunity for future learning.
- Providing national and regional forums for our members to communicate and network with one another as part of the wider community of the Special Constabulary.
- Promoting equality and diversity within policing by developing and supporting initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion within the ranks of the Special Constabulary.
- Promoting best practice in volunteer management within policing, bringing experience from outside policing to influence national Citizens in Policing strategy.
- Supporting research into Special Constabulary to better understand experiences, skills and future potential improvements within the service.
- Developing and coordinating training to enhance the skills of Special Constables and increase efficiency in their recruitment, retention, and development.
- Producing educational literature, guidance notes, and training resources.