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.

Specials spend around four hours a week, or more, supporting the police to tackle crime in their community (duty hours may vary from force to force). 

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 Special Constabulary 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.

Training to be a Special Constable

The special constable learning programme (SCLP) provides a route into policing that consists of theoretical learning, on-the-job observation and ultimately independent patrol. The scheme is made up of five phases through which a new special constable (SC) gains practical experience, receives personal safety training and undertakes advanced learning in chosen areas of interest. Once qualified, SCs have the option to become a regular police constable or take on mentoring modules to support future new SCs in a tutor role.