And Ian Le Sueur – the first honorary to make the switch to UK Special Constable – said bringing the honorary police together as one force rather than 12 would also help the current recruitment crisis.
The 54-year-old, who moved to the UK with his wife, Julie, over two years ago, also called for generic uniforms to help increase the public’s respect.
‘I don’t want to be seen as an outsider telling them what to do, these are just suggestions, but the system either lives or it dies,’ he said.
This week it emerged that the honorary system was facing a major recruitment crisis. In six of the worst-affected parishes – which include heavily populated areas such as St Brelade and St Saviour – almost half of volunteer posts are unfilled.
It has left some forces unable to police public events or forced them to stop certain patrols.
Mr Le Sueur, who works as a dispatcher for Avon and Somerset Police and volunteers as a Special Constable, said: ‘In Jersey the honoraries just do not promote themselves. What the public see is all speeding checks, telling people off and asking kids to move on. They need to get out and about at events and mingle with the public. Dare I say it, take a selfie or two. Chat. Get on social media.’
The former Islander said one of his biggest bugbears about the force was a lack of consistency, particularly with uniform. He said if all honorary officers were assigned a set uniform – that was distinct from the States police – it may help with respect issues.
‘Perhaps if it was looked at as one honorary police force, that still served individual parishes, it would help with recruitment. I know some people did not want to serve in their parish in case they knew someone,’ he added.
A former officer in St Brelade, Mr Le Sueur said he gave many hours of service ‘because I was able to’. But he reassured those thinking of signing up that giving any amount of time – even one or two hours a week – was enough. As a Special in the UK, he is required to average 16 hours of service every month.
Asked about his favourite aspects of being an honorary officer, Mr Le Sueur said: ‘It gives you experience and really helps with job applications. I applied for a job with the Prison Service, which I didn’t take up in the end, but it really helped in the application. You also make friends and socialise and you get out and about in beautiful Jersey.’
He added: ‘Honorary officers are, mostly, normal, friendly and approachable people. They are not all power-hungry bad guys. We have hobbies, we talk about the sport and the football when we are together and we just want to help the community.’