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Warwickshire’s Special Constabulary receive new dedicated roads policing car thanks to Police and Crime Commissioner grant

Warwickshire’s Special Constabulary now have their own dedicated roads policing car thanks to a £35k grant from Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe’s Road Safety Fund.

Special Constables are volunteers who work across a variety of policing teams, and when fully trained can do everything that a regular police officer does, including roads policing.

The new car is a fully liveried police car, equipped with operational equipment including ANPR, breath test kit, tow bar, variable message system, cones, signage, auxiliary lighting and ‘stingers’ that are used strategically to stop vehicles that are considered a danger to other road users. The grant also includes training the Special Constabulary Roads Policing volunteers to use the latest TruCam speed detection devices and other equipment such as weigh scales so they can assist during operations by checking whether a vehicle may be overweight.

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said “It is a great investment from the Road Safety Fund to support the Special Constabulary who do great work alongside regular officers to make Warwickshire’s roads safer for everyone.

“This means that we will have an even greater coverage of our roads for roads policing. This additional police presence and visibility on the county’s road network will help to address driver behaviours through a mix of education and enforcement, as well as removing more dangerous drivers from our roads altogether.

See the full article HERE

 

Having read this article recently, I know that more and more forces have introduced dedicated Special Constables to their Roads Policing Units and wondered how many in fact had. I personally think it is fantastic to see Special Constables being recognised in various roles throughout the service as for many years we have overlooked their genuine desire to specialise in certain areas of policing and tended to retain them in Neighborhood Policing roles (not that this role is not important - we all know it is :) )

Those officers who have secured places on the specialist units, how have you been received generally?

What training are your respective forces providing?

Is there a formalised route you have to follow to become accredited?

What driving permits do they provide you with? - How much training do they provide?

You get the idea, let's have a discussion :)

I have to say Warwickshire have certainly led the way for many years in regards to Special Constables working alongside their full time colleagues in Roads Policing and long may it continue, so over to you folks, let's hear about your experiences.

 

 

specials-car.jpg

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I work as an SC on RPU, and we've had a number of SCs within that department for as long as I can recall (of my 15 years, 10 years+ I'd say). Always well received by colleagues to help bolster numbers. Most of us are in the second seat as our RPU cars are always Advanced vehicles and only 2 SCs within the dept are Advanced trained. We've got an unmarked car that is dedicated to the SC Drone Team and it is Strategic Roads compliant in terms of its lighting and Matrix Board, but the ability to put on rolling roads and so on is taught only as part of our Advanced course so our unmarked has got limited use on the SRN in practical terms.

Stinger is a bolt on to our Standard Response course; IPP (Initial Pursuit Phase) - not Advanced and not RPU specific, ie we have Advanced SCs who aren't green for Stinger.

We've got some RPU SCs who are also trained in : DRFIT, PG9, Tintman.

All our RPU SCs, as well as our SCs who are Drone Pilots or Drone Ground Commanders, and our SCs who assist SECAMB in the JRU (Joint Response Unit) have all had Strategic Roads Training (physical, on-the-ground training, not just an NCALT) for operating on the Strategic Roads Network.

Our PDR for being in RPU is currently being reviewed at as to what it should look like. The old one was essentially the same as the regular's one. It's a bit onerous and outdated in terms of some of the things it asks for. Many of our tickets are now done on the MDT so there's no real need to differentiate between EFPN and NEFPN for example like we used to on paper; and all SCs should have done/be doing tickets as part of their pre-RPU roles anyway. It also references the MG/NCRF set of docs which are all now dealt with on the CRASH form on our MDT.

There's whole sections on C&U, Commercial Vehicles (although our RPU dept has a dedicated Commercial Vehicle team), and the MG/DD set of docs (some of which may not come around that often, eg Hospital Procedure). All in all, I wouldn't say it's not fit for purpose, but it could be a bit more practicable.

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We have a small (3SC + 1 S/I) "Safer Roads Team" who support our TacOps.  They're not Stinger, don't have Response Driving etc etc.  They literally set up stop checks etc.  It's a source of some grumpiness as they're basically normal SCs with a dedicated vehicle (that nobody can even get to, never mind use) who run a monthly checkpoint together.  The guys in it are also some of our most experienced SCs.  It feels like someone started expanding our utility and then stopped because someone else complained about it.

There has been talk of expanding our skills and utility for years, but we keep finding out that the promised training courses and upskilling has gone away. 

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Around here they have a Specials Road Safety Unit (SRSU) who seem to mainly just do speeding checks around the county., drink & drug-driving and a few other vehicle checks.

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  • 5 weeks later...

My force currently has 16 active officers on RPU. We work closely with our regular officers and undertake normal RPU duties with standard RPU deployment models and callsigns, either working with regulars or other RPU SC's. We complete occasional takeover days and I think we have good support from management.

In terms of skills, we are treated well and the force has invested heavily. 

12 out of the 16 are Advanced trained and 8 of those are TPAC as well. 2 more are Standard/IPP trained and are on the list for Advanced training. All are stinger trained on these courses. All training that is available to regulars is available to us as well, and some of us even have trainer qualifications for a variety of skills which we use to train both SC's and regular colleagues. We will also soon have our first police driving instructor so we will be capable of training other SC's to response level. We work hard to ensure that we have parity with regulars in terms of passing courses (PG9, FIT, Drivers Hours etc etc) and achieving competence - we are not interested in having a 'paired down' version of a skill. We expect our officers to complete the same accredited Traffic Patrol course as the regulars, though often modularised to allow for day jobs. We also expect our officers to also carry a workload when able (and practicable) - process our own prisoners, carry out our own enquiries and complete our own files.

It's a great set up, and for me it's the best SC role I can think of in the country. There is nothing more satisfying than completing a task or resolving an incident and a regular saying "blimey, I didn't realise you were a Special! Thanks so much".

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