A Special role with the police

The Special Constabulary
The Special Constabulary
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Have you ever wanted to add some excitement to your life, or do something positive and rewarding for your local community, asks Kate Firman from the Safer Peterborough Partnership.

You can do both with the Special Constabulary. As a Community Inspector in Peterborough, the Special Constabulary provides me with valuable extra resources, volunteers who wear the same uniform, carry the same equipment and have the same powers as regular police officers, including the power of arrest.

They carry out a whole range of roles, including specialist areas. Special Constables could be tackling anti-social behaviour, involved in crowd control at major events, going on foot or vehicle patrol, assisting at the scene of collisions, fights or fires or enforcing road safety initiatives. Just last Saturday they assisted me by running a policing operation for a community walk held in memory of PC Keith Palmer.

These volunteers get professional training, skills and experience which can be used in everyday life and career progression. Training takes 10 weeks and consists of distance learning via online training packages. 

People often ask if being a Special could upset their employer. Our experience is that employers are usually extremely happy for staff to become Specials and many actually support them by giving paid time off while they’re on duty. Some organisations actively encourage their staff to become Specials and work in partnership with the Special Constabulary.

In the 12 months from April last year to March this year, Specials worked more than 8,600 shifts in Cambridgeshire, amounting to just over 56,000 hours of duty.

Like the regular colleagues they work alongside, Specials are sworn in by a magistrate and have the same powers by law.

Specials working for Cambridgeshire Constabulary have careers as diverse as podiatry, research chemist, children’s kung fu instructor, college lecturer, golf club greenkeeper, youth worker, chef and orchestra manager.

For more information and an application form visit the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website: www.cambs.police.uk/recruitment/specials/

I look forward to working with you sometime soon!