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 constable 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 constable'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, special constables 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.

In some instances forces are also increasingly making use of the particular skills and experience that special constables may bring with them from their employment outside the police service.

Responsibility grows with experience

Once you have the right training and practical experience as a special constable  you can take on more responsibility. And training is available on an on-going basis. Many forces have a rank structure for their Special Constabulary so there may be an opportunity for promotion as your experience grows.  This ensures you're constantly challeneged and learning new skills.