Warwickshire Police Special Constables have been commended by senior officers and the Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner for their significant commitment to protecting people from harm.
Since April 2017, the Special Constabulary have worked around 36,000 hours. To put that into some perspective, that is nearly 4 years’ collective service in the space of just nine months.
Chief Supt Alex Franklin-Smith who oversees the Special Constabulary in Warwickshire said: “Currently 200 officers give their own time as part of the Special Constabulary in Warwickshire. The dedication and selflessness of these officers cannot be underestimated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every Special Constable for their precious free time utilised for the betterment of their communities and for their sense of duty protecting people from harm. The non-police experiences they bring to the role and to the service are a valuable resource that cannot be undervalued and people living in Warwickshire are safer as a result of their individual contributions.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “I’m delighted to see the hard word and dedication that our Special Constabulary is able to deliver to communities across Warwickshire. I know from my involvement with the Army Reserve how valuable the voluntary ethos can be, so the growth of the Special Constabulary in this way is something I very much welcome. It helps bring in a different mix of skills and experience, while at the same time allowing the volunteers to give something back to their community. The additional opportunities now being offered to work in more specialised areas of policing is also helping to bring in the kind of expertise from industry that can help to address the changing nature of crime. “It’s clear we have a very good core of dedicated volunteers in our Special Constabulary and I hope to continue to see it grow to supplement the excellent work being carried out by our regular police officers, PCSOs and police staff.”
Volunteers make a huge contribution to the safety and well-being of our communities and the importance of the Special Constabulary as a valuable addition to the regular police cannot be underestimated.
Warwickshire Special Constabulary Chief Officer Graham Bell said: “I am extremely honoured to lead such a dedicated team of volunteer police officers and particularly proud of the contribution that Special Constables make every day to protecting people from harm across Warwickshire. Specials are fully warranted volunteer Police Officers who are recruited from across the county, creating the crucial link between police and the communities by taking an active part in the way their communities are policed and helping to cut crime and the fear of crime.”
Special Constables volunteer anything from 16 hours to well over 100 hours per month at a time that suits them, conducting high visibility patrols and operations independently from and alongside regular officers. We also have officers attached to specialist teams such as our Roads Policing team, patrolling the strategic roads and motorway network and our rural crime team who are tasked and active in our rural areas deterring criminality, providing reassurance and delivering crime prevention advice. Increasingly we are looking for people to join us and bring their specialist skills to policing in areas such as financial investigation and cyber-crime.
Special constables begin their career by attending initial basic training at our training centres where they learn about the law, their powers, preparation of evidence for court, dealing with crime and managing confrontation. Officers also complete their Officer Safety Training which covers emergency first aid, a national fitness test, techniques for using their equipment and much more. This training takes place during weekends and in the evenings. Following training, officers are attested by a magistrate and are then deployed to work on a response team to put their new knowledge into practice. Special Constables then undertake a period of supervised patrol typically for 12 – 18 months with a Special or Regular tutor whilst gathering evidence in a portfolio to gain independent patrol status which is a milestone in every officers career.
As the Special Constable’s policing experience increases, officers will work on specific Specials’ led operations and events, as well as providing support to regular police officers. There are opportunities for promotion within the Police Specials, which has its own rank structure.
Whilst the role is not salaried, Specials do get reimbursed for out of pocket expenses and are provided with a uniform, training and equipment. Specials can be any height, don’t need specific qualifications, just honesty, integrity and a positive approach.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a special, should visit https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/specialconstables