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
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.
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.
A workforce that reflects our communities
Our ability to build trust, understand problems and support our communities across a range of policing matters, relies on us having a workforce that is reflective of our communities and all the unique individuals that exist within them. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity within our workforce and to eliminating discrimination.
We are very keen to encourage applications from those that have never considered policing as a career. Representation within our workforce from black and minority ethnic communities and females is currently much lower than we want it to be; by improving this we will be better able to serve our local communities and our work place will benefit from all the differences in thinking, points of view, and approaches that diversity brings.
In order to achieve this we are proud to pursue a policy of ‘positive action’.
For further information and to register for this scheme please click the button below.
Our current recruitment timeline
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.
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.
We will be holding Special Constable Virtual Awareness Events on the following dates:
- Tuesday, 8th September at 1.00pm – 2.00 pm
- Thursday, 10th September at 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm
- Wednesday, 14th October at 6.00 pm – 7.00 pm
Invitations will be emailed to those who have fully completed the online application process or started completion of the online Application Form. This therefore includes those who have passed the Behavioural Style Questionnaire and Situational Judgement Test. We hope you will be able to join us at one of these times.
For further information and how to prepare for the fitness test please see the Job Related Fitness Information Guide.
We will carry out security checks on you and your:
- Step father/mother’s partner
- 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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:
- 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
- Members of private security organisations
- Private detectives and enquiry agents
- School crossing patrollers
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.
Don't worry if you fail on your first attempt, you are allowed two more attempts within 12 weeks.
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.