Read my reply earlier in the thread, apart from door to door service i dont think we can do much more! Maybe we are sometimes too soft?
But other times, I think it's as crunchybits has said - if the management aren't managing the team well (or at all), then motivation takes a dive and people will stay home.
For example, we (Specials) used to do all manner of taskings and jobs, from your typical fete or carnival type duty to working alongside Response officers dealing with anything the night threw at us. It was great fun, we were allowed and trusted to take control of a task and run them, and we did, and very well. Then around 12 months or so ago, certain aspects of management changed, and slowly but surely the interesting and fun jobs have disappeared, leaving what appears to be a requirement for Specials to cover only the most basic, boring, and repetitive duties.
An op, that in previous years has been run solely by Specials (with occasional input or support from the duty sarge) has been changed so that each Special has to work with a reg. They also have to be on what amounts to a static posting on foot, for up to 10 hours at a time, in the centre of town in all weathers. Now, having been a regular attendee on almost every Friday evening for the last 5 or 6 years, I too did these duties initially... the op was a success (ASB/violence/etc dropped significantly in town), but after a few weeks there was nothing to do - you covered your little patch of the street until the end of the shift week-after-week, with no excitement whatsoever. A Reg might well moan and groan at this, but they're getting paid to be there - but Specials aren't. Now, I'm happy to do a cruddy shift occasionally, but every week? Not on your nelly. I, along with countless others that regularly turned up, now haven't worked on a Friday for months - the one that still does (because that's one of the few times they can make a duty) confirms that things haven't changed.
I've also witnessed situations where a reg and Special are at the same traumatic job - supervision have arrived when everything's finished, and instructed the reg to go back to the station for a cuppa and a break "to get their head clear". The Special, on the other hand, has been left to man a cordon without anyone asking as to their wellbeing. If the Special continues to be treated as a second class officer for a few more jobs or shifts, is it any wonder if they then stop coming in?