A DEDICATED special constable has volunteered for close to 500 hours patrolling his streets this year.

Dewi Roberts, 23, who works in Blackwood, has been a ‘special’ with Gwent Police since September 2010 and has given up 489 hours in the last year.

Special constables are expected to work 16 hours a month but Mr Roberts aims to do two eight-hour shifts a week.

Blackwood neighbourhood inspector Mark Smith congratulated his special constable team, who have clocked up more than 3,320 volunteer hours between them, and Mr Roberts was given special thanks along with special constabulary inspector Christine Smith and special constable Vicki Morris for volunteering significant amounts of time during the year and for their contribution to local policing.

MrRoberts, who works in Asda as his day job, said: “It’s brilliant being a special constable. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

“I would jump at the chance if a fulltime paid position came up.

“It’s been a great confidence boost.

The first shift felt really scary but nowI happily go out onmyown and the regulars are great and always back me up and support me if I need it.”

Inspector Smith said: “The Blackwood special constables, and Dewi in particular, are highly motivated and have been involved in a number of multi-agency operations.

“They make a real difference to the area, and in particular their commitment to policing the High Street road closure each Thursday evening.”

Recruitment of special constables in Gwent begins again at the end of September, visit www.gwent.police.uk for more information.