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Why Join The Special Constabulary?


Chief Bakes
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Special constables

Why not volunteer as a special constable and support the work of your police force in the community?

The special constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who work with and support their local police. 'Specials', as special constables are known, come from all walks of life - they are teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries, or any number of other careers - and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police force, forming a vital link between the regular (full-time) police and the local community.

Once they have completed their training, they have the same powers as regular officers and wear a similar uniform.

What's in it for you?

Joining the specials opens up a world of opportunity for personal and professional advancement. Undergoing the training and then going out on patrol makes a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and challenge with every day you volunteer.

People join the specials for many different reasons. You may want:

  • to give something back to the community
  • to learn new skills and gain valuable experience
  • to challenge yourself
  • to learn first-hand about the police force before committing to a full-time job there
  • to have a second chance if you've unsuccessfully applied for a job as a regular officer.

Being a special will change you

Becoming a special will help you see life differently. You'll discover a lot you did not know about yourself and you'll learn just how much you are really capable of. You will:

  • develop self-respect and self-confidence
  • improve your communication skills
  • learn more about your community.

You will be working as one of a team and the experiences you share in working closely together can lead to lasting friendships. You will learn more about life and human nature than most people will ever see.

What's it like to do the job?

Learn more about what it's really like to be a special constable.

What you do as a special depends on the needs of the force that hires you. You can take on many roles, though, and there's certainly plenty to keep you busy.

Your main role

Generally speaking, a special's main role is to conduct local, intelligence-based patrols and to take part in crime prevention initiatives, often targeted at specific problem areas.

In many forces, specials are also involved in policing major incidents, and in providing operational support to regular officers.

Depending upon their individual force, specials can:

  • conduct foot patrols
  • assist at the scene of accidents, fights or fires
  • enforce road safety initiatives
  • conduct house-to-house enquiries
  • provide security at major event
  • present evidence in court
  • tackle anti-social behaviour
  • tackle alcohol related incidents
  • spend time at local schools educating youths about crime reduction and community safety.

Responsibility grows with experience

Once you have the right training and practical experience as a special you can take on more responsibility. And training is available on an on-going basis. Some forces have ranks so volunteers can be promoted as their experience grows. This ensures you're constantly challenged and learning new skills.

What skills our volunteer police officers can evidence throughout their lives…

  • Conflict management
  • Prioritisation of demand
  • Leadership
  • Taking personal responsibility
  • Crisis management
  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving
  • An understanding of the law
  • Decision making
  • The delivery of objectives.

Becoming a Special will help you to discover a lot about yourself. You will learn just how much you are really capable of.

How will the role benefit me?

  • Understand more about real life in your area
  • Increase your circle of friends
  • Feel valued and wanted
  • Have much more variety in your life
  • Become part of something bigger
  • Face new challenges and opportunities
  • Learn to physically defend yourself and deal with conflict
  • No two days will ever be the same
  • Gain a real sense of achievement
  • Gain confidence.

Edited by Chief Bakes

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