Barrow Special Constable landed a prestigious award during National Specials Week for her continuous hard work through the year.
This year Special Constable Anna Merrell was recognised with the Special Constable of the Year award for her outstanding contribution to policing in Barrow and deploying regularly alongside her section whilst managing to juggle her third year at university and a new job as a carer.
This year’s force awards were unfortunately cancelled due to the current pandemic, during this ceremony an award is presented to the forces Special Constable of the Year.
This weekend is National Specials Week, which also falls within Volunteer week, the forces will be thanking and expressing appreciation to all of Special Constables for their continued hard work and dedication, not just throughout this challenging time, but all year long, day in day out.
Anna became a volunteer for Cumbria Constabulary as part of her second year studying policing at the University of Cumbria in which she was given the opportunity to apply as a special constable and undertake a full-time voluntary placement.
She began her training in January 2019 with her placement in Barrow ending in April of the same year.
As her role as a special constable Anna has worked alongside the same unit in Barrow and completed a police action checklist under the guidance of a tutor constable, once competed she gained independent patrol status.
Following the end of her placement Anna continued to volunteer in Barrow and in September 2019, she began a third year of study for a BSc in Professional Policing and continued to volunteer whenever she returned from university.
Special Constable Anna Merrell said: “I was very happy to hear that I had been nominated and chosen to receive this award.
“Since I began serving as a special constable in January 2019, I have volunteered over 1130 hours and I really appreciate that my contribution has been recognised.
“Over the past year and a half, volunteering on operational response shifts has allowed me to develop many new skills and meet various people and I have enjoyed the experiences.
“I have largely worked alongside Unit 4 in Barrow who have made me feel welcome, involved and part of a team and I am very grateful for this.”
Alongside volunteering for Cumbria police and assisting with response duties during the current pandemic, Anna has begun working part-time job as a care assistant.
This summer Anna will receive her degree from the University of Cumbria and is hoping to progress into the role of a police officer.
Superintendent Sarah Jackson said: “The special constabulary are such a vital part of our policing services, bringing with them valuable skills and knowledge.
“Most of our special officers contribute an impressive number of volunteer hours but Anna has really stood out as someone who always goes above and beyond the call of duty. She quickly completed her training requirements and has become a confident independent officer who manages cases just as a regular officer does.
“Her vocation for public service knows no bounds and she has also trained as a care assistant to increase her efforts during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
“Her contribution is truly inspirational and she is a worthy recipient of this award and we are grateful for Anna’s sterling efforts”