A Duty Manager form West Quay Shopping Centre in Southampton has become the city’s first ShopWatch Special.
After undergoing his initial training Thorne Dixon, aged 33, was recently sworn in at an attestation ceremony at the Police Training Headquarters in Netley and has now started patrolling the city centre.
They are Special Constables who normally work in retail, but are released with agreement from their management for a minimum of 16 hours a month to work as a special constable patrolling the city, including the area around where they work. This helps to enhance their own skills and experience while providing security and reassurance for shoppers and residents in the area.
The idea has already been tried in other parts of the county with success and it’s hoped other retailers in Southampton will release their staff to spend some time as Specials too.
PC Dixon said: “When this opportunity came along it seemed like a logical step to take as I already work in close liaison with the police as a Duty Manager at West Quay. The learning process has been enlightening and has allowed me to get a much fuller understanding of the work of the police. I am really enjoying this new challenge and am very pleased West Quay has supported me in doing this.”
Southampton’s Community Safety Inspector, Tony Rowlinson said: “We hope Thorne will be the first of many new ShopWatch Specials to join our ranks in the coming months. We are really pleased he’s decided to take on this role. I would encourage any retail stores that don’t know about the scheme or anyone interested in becoming a ShopWatch Special to get in contact with Hampshire Constabulary to find out more.”
Anyone who wants to find out more about becoming a Special Constable or taking on any other volunteering role with the police in Southampton is asked to contact the recruiting team at Hampshire Constabulary on 0845 045 45 45.