A day in the life of a Special Constable

A police car at noght parked in the street

A day in the life of a Special Constable

I am a Special Constable based at Exmouth Police Station and I have been in this role for nearly four years.

As a Special Constable I never know what to expect when I come on shift, and the variety of tasks I can get involved in varies each time I put on the uniform. I also work a range of shifts, and the below is just one example of what a "typical" night shift can look like.

1645 - It’s a Friday late shift, I arrive at my station, change into my uniform, and check my equipment is in order. I book on duty and make myself known to the Response Sergeant ready for shift start and section briefing at 1700hrs.

1700 - The first part of the shift, is the section briefing, chaired by the Response Sergeant. The Sergeant makes us all aware of current intelligence, live incidents handed over from previous shifts and they will allocate call signs and crew mates. Tonight, I am crewed with a regular officer and we are allocated callsign Kilo Echo 3-0 Lates (KE30L).

1710 - Police receive an emergency call reporting a 2-vehicle damage-only Road Traffic Collision and the response priority has been graded as an “immediate”. This means the incident has been assessed as requiring an immediate police attendance authorising us to utilise police driving exemptions, so we respond on blue lights and sirens. We are about 15 minutes away from the scene and we make towards as quickly and safely as possible.

We arrive on scene; the road is partially blocked. Paramedics are on scene speaking with the drivers and passengers and ensuring no one is hurt. I assist with emergency traffic management and keep the traffic moving, utilising the opposite side of the road, releasing one side of traffic at a time.

Luckily, there are no injuries and both parties have swapped details. The vehicles have been recovered and we clear the debris from the road to enable us to open the road fully again. We go code 2 (available).

1734 - We receive a radio call requesting urgent assistance at the train station from British Transport Police officers who are already on scene dealing with an incident. We head towards the officers’ location on an immediate response. Other local officers are also on route. All we know is that someone has been seen with a knife and that they are currently still on scene.

On arrival, the subject has been detained by officers and is found in possession of a knife and cannabis. They are arrested for possession of a bladed article and for possession of cannabis and we convey the suspect to custody. More incidents are coming in over the radio.

1900 -We finish up in custody and head back to the station to finish the relevant paperwork (statements, CCTV enquiries etc).

1956 - We are asked to attend a domestic incident in progress. There is mention that someone at the address has a hammer. As a result of the information and level of risk we have been told, the Force Incident Manager Inspector (FIM) has assessed the incident as suitable for Taser-equipped officers to attend. My crewmate is Taser-trained and therefore we are asked to attend along with several other police units including police dogs.

2100 - The incident has concluded, and we head back to the police station. Tonight’s shift is known as a ‘dog watch’ this means there are two sections (late and night shift) who overlap slightly. It’s 2100hrs so the night turn are booking on duty. We take this opportunity to go code 4 (meal-break). It’s been a busy shift so far!

2130 - We head out into town on patrol. As it is a Friday night, pubs are still in full swing. We head out on foot patrol and speak with door supervisors. They report that they have ejected someone out who has been starting fights with others. We do an area search but there is no trace for the subject. We head back out into the town and speak with members of the public.

2230 - We receive a report of a concern for welfare of a suicidal male, and it’s been graded for immediate response by the control room as a result of the level of threat, risk and harm. We are asked to head towards to location to help with an area search.

0025 - We are still searching for our missing male. All available resources are now asked to assist with the search, including the National Police Air Service (NPAS Helicopter) and dog section. The concern for the male is heightened and has now been graded ‘high risk’.

It is important we find the male as soon as possible. We check the local train station and other areas of interest, as well as addresses of close friends and family. A while later, they are found at their friend’s address. Officers attend the address and complete the paperwork and conduct a ‘safe and well check’. Officers complete the necessary safeguarding paperwork and seek support from partner-agencies. We head back into Exmouth town on route back to the station.

0230 - We receive reports of a fight breaking out on the seafront, so we are asked to attend with other available officers. On arrival we conduct an area search and there is no sign of any fighting. We therefore go code 2 (available) and conduct high-vis patrols along the seafront to deter any further incidents from occurring.

0300 - It is shift end and we sign off duty. The Sergeant has expressed their thanks for coming in and assisting the section.

Devin - Special Sergeant

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