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Become a Special Constable

Special Constable (PA Copyright)What is it?

Special constables, or ‘specials’ as they are also known, are volunteers from all walks of life who give some of their free time to police their communities. Specials are business people, nurses, retail workers and students – the list goes on. But when they are on duty as special constables, they are police officers with full police powers, tackling crime, reducing anti-social behaviour and building bridges between the police and the local communities they serve – it’s an opportunity to make a real difference.

When you become a Special Constable, you’ll get initial training and go on patrol with other special constables and regular police officers. You might be policing in neighbourhood teams or be involved in more specialist roles. You will usually perform your duties as a special for a minimum of four hours per week, although you can choose to do more.

When you join the specials, you will be joining more than 16,000 other dedicated people across England and Wales – and also thousands of other volunteers in policing, each wanting to actively participate in their communities to make them a better place to live and work.

How can I get involved?

  • There are 44 police forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police); you can choose which one to join but it will usually be the force that covers your local area.
  • You can check whether you’re eligible for the role by accessing the NPIA Special Constable eligibility guidance – see the link below.
  • Once you‘ve checked you’re eligible and chosen a force to apply to, you should contact that force to check whether they are recruiting for the Special Constabulary. You can find contact details for police forces, or you can check directly on the website in the Special Constables section (see below).  If they are recruiting, you can ask for information and an application pack.
  • Some employers have an Employer Supported Policing policy (ESP) in place. Check this with your employer – if they do, then you may be able to be trained and perform some of your duties during your normal working time.

Where can I find out more?