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Devon & Cornwall Police
Special Constables

Becoming a Special Constable

Make a change for the better


Become a special and find out what you’re capable of – for yourself and your community.

  • Make the streets safer
  • Find out what you’re capable of
  • See a different world

We are open for recruitment now!

Have you ever wanted the opportunity to give something back to your community, whilst developing transferable skills that will benefit you in your personal and professional life? Then becoming a Special Constable is the perfect opportunity for you!

Before applying via the button below, please read all of the information below thoroughly including the FAQs.
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What is the Special Constabulary?

The Special Constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who work alongside, and support, their local police.


  • Specials are volunteer police officers with the same powers as regular officers.
  • Specials spend a minimum of 16 hours per month, or more, supporting the police to tackle crime in their communities
  • Specials are recruited locally by all police forces in England and Wales
  • Specials work in partnership with regular officers and the wider policing family.

Could you do it?


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What does a Special Constable do?

Specials take part in front-line police work. They spend most of their time on the streets, doing intelligence-based patrols in crime hotspots or taking part in crime-prevention initiatives.

This could mean anything from keeping town centres safe at night through to conducting house-to- house enquiries or helping prevent vulnerable people from becoming victims of crime. It’s hard, demanding work, but from your first day on duty, you’ll see the impact you’re having.

You will be able to specialise too! After you have completed your training and are proficient in your core role, there are plenty of specialisms you could move into such as a dedicated Traffic Special Constable and many others.

Our current recruitment timeline

 
Recruitment Window Opens - 12th August
We open for registration in a recruitment campaign and those that have expressed their interests are notified.
Behaviour Styles Questionnaire (BSQ)
This questionnaire invites you to review a number of statements and indicate which statement you completely agree with, or completely disagree with, on a sliding scale.

In order to progress to the next stage you must pass the BSQ. At the end of this questionnaire you will be advised of the result and provided with a feedback report.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
If you have passed the BSQ you will be asked to complete the SJT. This is the final stage of the online process.

You will be presented with a number of different situations that you may face as a Special Constable with a choice of different actions that might be taken.

You will be asked to identify which action will result in an effective or counterproductive outcome.

You will be provided with a feedback report and if you are successful, you will be invited to complete an application form.
Awareness Events
We will be holding virtual awareness events during the week commencing 7th September and 12th October. Exact dates are yet to be confirmed, so please check back here for more details.
This is an opportunity for you to find out more about the role from our serving Special Constables and ask them questions. You will also find out more information about the recruitment process and training.
Registration Window Closes - Midnight 28th September
We close our application registration at this time. You will be unable to register after this date.
Application Form
Once you have completed the BSQ and SJT you will be required to complete the online application form.
Assessment Centre/Interview invitation sent
The interviews are scheduled to take place on Saturday, 21 November 2020 or Sunday, 22 November 2020. Please note the second date is dependent the number of candidates.
If you are unable to attend the interview date please contact the recruitment team and do not let this deter you from applying as we will do our best to try and arrange an date for you.
Pre-Requisites commence
At this stage, we will conduct vetting checks, background checks and assess your medical wellbeing and you will be offered a start date.
Fitness Test
The police Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT) is a critical component of the recruitment and deployment of police officers. The core rational for the test is to ensure that prospective Special Constables have a minimum level of fitness to be able to undertake personal safety training. The fitness test is benchmarked against the aerobic demands of Personal Safety Training (PST) and comprises of an aerobic shuttle run test (15m Multi Stage Fitness Test – 15m MSFT at level 5:4).

For further information and how to prepare for the fitness test please see the Job Related Fitness Information Guide.
Vetting
Vetting – The vetting process is entirely confidential and the outcomes (other than pass/fail) are not shared with anyone else in the organisation (including trainers, future line managers or fellow trainees) or anyone outside of the organisation (including family).

We will carry out security checks on you and your:
  • Spouse/Partner
  • Father
  • Step father/mother’s partner
  • Mother
  • Stepmother/father’s partner
  • Brothers/sisters (full/half/step)
  • Children/children of your partner (only those age 10 years and over)
  • Any other adult living at your address
  • Financial circumstances – applicants will have their financial status checked


These checks are carried out because Special Constables have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption.

Applicants with outstanding County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Agreements (IVAs) or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, will be rejected. If you have discharged bankruptcy debts then you will need to provide a Certificate of Satisfaction with your application. At least three years will need to have passed since the date of discharge.

Applicants with cautions/convictions/reprimands, other than some motoring offences, may not be accepted.

References – We send reference requests to all your previous employers in the last 3 years. If you haven’t been employed for 3 years, we will ask for a character reference or an educational reference.

Drugs Testing – As part of the Vetting process you will be required to undergo drugs testing. All drug testing processes are entirely confidential and only the presence of illegal substances will be disclosed to the Force Vetting Unit (by the third party drug testing laboratory). Prescribed medication, including that for individuals with certain disabilities or individuals that may be transitioning, is not tested for in the process. This process generally takes around five weeks to complete.
You start your journey
Having completed and been successful, you will then start as a Special Constable and start your training.
The next start date is the 22nd March 2021.

Entry Requirements

Age
You can apply for the Special Constabulary if you are over the age of 18. There is no upper age limit for applying but following legislative changes that were introduced on 5 April 2011 the compulsory age for retirement will remain at 60 with the potential for an extension to 65 with permission and if the individual is physically fit.
Nationality
You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom and have been resident in the UK for three years.
Height
There are no height restrictions.
Health
You'll be asked to complete a medical questionnaire which must be signed by your GP and returned directly and confidentially to our Health Team. You will then have an appointment with a medical practitioner who will check: lung capacity, eyesight and colour vision, hearing, mobility, any existing conditions, urine and height/weight and BMI. Please note - BMI should be within 18-30.

All candidates will be subject to a pre-employment drugs test.

HM Government provide detailed information on medical standards including which illnesses, injuries and disorders will affect your ability to perform the role of the Special Constable
Vision
An eyesight test will also form part of the medical. The standard you need to meet can be found here.
Tattoos
Not necessarily as tattoos are assessed on an a case by case basis. If you have tattoos you will need to make a declaration at the time of application.

We will ask you to send in two digital pictures of each tattoo. One distance photograph clearly showing where on your body the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards.

We would require a verifiable translation of any any tattoos containing non-English words, characters or representation and an explanation of the tattoos’ meaning or significance.
Criminal record
Convictions or cautions will not necessarily prevent you from joining. It will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. Your application may be terminated if you fail to disclose any convictions or cautions.

We also have a policy of prohibiting any of our officers, staff and volunteers from becoming members of the BNP or similar organisations whose aims or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote race equality.
Financial vetting
Applicants to the police service should not be under pressure from undischarged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly to avoid making themselves vulnerable to corruption.

Financial checks will be carried out to make sure you don't have an outstanding CCJ, IVA or are registered bankrupt. IVAs will be considered on a case by case basis.

If you've discharged your bankruptcy debts you'll need verification from the Court that 3 years has passed since the date of discharge.
Physical and learning disabilities
We welcome applications from people with disabilities and will do all we can, within medical and fitness restrictions, to make reasonable adjustments which will allow disabled applicants to undertake the role of a special constable.

Please let us know if you have a disability and the type of adjustment which you might need to enable you to apply for and do the job.
Ineligible occupations
Business interests and current employment must be declared to ensure they do not conflict with Force policy.

Some areas of employment are incompatible with the office of special constable as they may conflict with the duties and requirements performed by our officers and staff.

Applicants within the following occupations ineligible to join the Special Constabulary:
  • Magistrates
  • Clerks to the justices
  • Clerks to the courts
  • Highways agency traffic officers
  • Police community support officers
  • Civil enforcement officers
  • Neighbourhood and street wardens
  • Serving armed forces personnel
  • Crown Prosecution Service employees
  • Immigration officers
  • Members of a police force maintained by a commercial organisation or private company
  • Licensees of betting and gaming establishments
  • Lottery promoters
  • Bailiffs
  • Members of private security organisations
  • Private detectives and enquiry agents
  • School crossing patrollers
This list is not exhaustive and there may be other exceptions which arise.
Other occupations will be considered subject to the agreement of their employer and the Chief Constable:
  • Fire service personnel
  • Armed services reserve personnel
  • Members of the medical and health professions

Other occupations where eligibility should be carefully scrutinised by the Chief Constable include:
  • Holders (and their partners) of licensed premises
  • Probation officers, youth and social workers involved in the administration of criminal law
  • Bailiffs, warrant officers, private investigators and inquiry officers

If you have any queries please contact People Services Centre (Resourcing) on 01392 452020 or email specials recruitment.
Fitness Test
You will have to run a 15m track in time with bleeps which get increasingly faster (level 5.4 bleep test).

Don't worry if you fail on your first attempt, you are allowed two more attempts within 12 weeks.
Vetting checks
Even though being a Special is a volunteer role, it's a very serious and important one. So you'll understand we need to carry out checks on our volunteers and their families.

This includes you, your spouse/partner (and their children if over 10 years old), family members (including step relations) and any other adults who live at your address.
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