What is a Special? It's about doing the work of a police officer, having the powers of a police officer, but serving as a volunteer, but why would you do that?
Because once you've got the kids out to school, you're looking for another challenge. Because you could give 16 hours a month to help your local community. Because you want that sense of pride, togetherness, or satisfaction in learning new skills. Because you want to make a difference. Because... you can!
Whatever your reasons for being a special constable, come and join a team of dedicated volunteers from the local community who provide tremendous help and support to regular police officers.
If you would like further information about the role of a special constable, attend one of our recruitment events below or telephone us on 01953 425 699 Ext 2312 or email: email@example.com
Alternatively, download an Special Application Form and apply now!
Employers Partnership Scheme
Norfolk Constabulary operates an employer support scheme for existing or potential special constables. The scheme is called the Specials Through Employers Partnership scheme (STEP) and aims to encourage volunteers to join the specials with their employer's support.
How can my business support the scheme?
STEP asks employers to sponsor an employee who would like to volunteer by allowing them up to a maximum of one paid day per month off work to undertake work as a special constable. The employee in turn agrees to match the hours sponsored by the employer, whilst also fulfilling our requirement for 16 hours service per month.
What are the benefits?
The STEP scheme has been designed to help volunteers balance their time commitments and also assists local businesses and organisations in playing a more active part in their communities.
If you are a Norfolk employer, there are a number of benefits to you having employees also serving as special constables, including:
- Individual staff development: Through Special Constabulary service, employees can gain valuable transferable skills, including decision-making, communication, problem solving, leadership, working in a team, dealing with conflict, self-monitoring and control.
- Management training: Our Special Constabulary section officers are usually responsible for co-ordinating up to 12 other special constables. They all complete our management training course that aims to give them the skills they need to manage their team. The training includes sessions on handling difficult situations, the role of the supervisor, communication, handling stress, pressure and time, and team building.
- Improved staff morale, motivation and retention: Staff with a worthwhile interest outside of work feel more fulfilled and are more motivated. They are less likely to seek alternative employment and could prove themselves to be a strong asset to your business.
- Supporting the local community: Companies are increasingly adopting 'corporate responsibility' policies and are demonstrating to their customers, the public, and other businesses that they are actively trying to improve the local community for everyone.
- A positive marketing opportunity: Raise your company's local profile by showing your support for staff who volunteer and who are helping to: increase visible police presence on the streets, effectively tackle local crime and disorder issues, and reduce the fear of crime in the community.
- Saving on staff development costs: Each special is thoroughly trained over a period of a year according to a predetermined training syllabus. They develop a range of transferable skills that not only enables them to carry out their role in a professional and safe manner, but will naturally transfer into the workplace. This has the potential to save you money on training costs.
Am I eligible?
To be a special constable you must be:
- over 18 years old
- a citizen of: the European Economic Area (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK); the Commonwealth; the Irish Republic OR have the right of indefinite stay in the UK.
- in good health and reasonably fit
- of good character
- a Norfolk resident or work within the county of Norfolk.
Height and eyesight
There are no height restrictions but you do have to meet our vision standards. When you apply, you will receive a form that you will need to take to a qualified optician for completion and return.
Due to legal restrictions on certain professions serving as special constables, you must not be:
- An employee of the security industry including some stewarding roles
- A member of the armed forces (excluding reserves)
- A parking enforcement officer
- A liquor licence holder
- Involved in the administration of the law
- Street wardens or rangers
- Environmental officers
- Debt collection agents
- Prison officers
- Take an active part in politics
If you are employed in any occupation with client privilege or are a member of the medical and health professions, you may apply but your application will be have to meet both your employer's and the Chief Constable's approval. There are other employment restrictions.
Benefits of the role
As a special constable you will work closely with regular officers in serving the community. This is a great opportunity for you to meet people from all walks of life and gain experience in wide range of policing duties.
You will be presented with constant challenges and opportunities to develop your skills and you will also receive excellent training - both initially and during your first year of service.
In your first year you will be given 14 core training sessions to help you work effectively and safely as a special constable.
There will also be ongoing training available to you on new legislation, conflict management and other key skills, which will also support you in your full-time employment and personal development.
Pay and expenses
If you volunteer as a special you receive no pay, as it is a voluntary service. However, you can claim mileage expenses or the cost of travel to and from duty. You can also claim out-of-pocket expenses, including meals, if you can provide a receipt. You may also be entitled to a boot allowance if you serve a certain number of hours each year.
If you lose work pay due to having to attend court to give evidence, we will reimburse you. Sickness benefits will also be paid to you if you are injured on duty.
You will be provided with a free uniform that is virtually identical to that of a regular officer. Your uniform will remain the property of Norfolk Police. We will also issue you with handcuffs, a baton, and CS spray after you have been trained in how to use this equipment and hold the necessary certificates.
Speak to anyone serving as a Special and they will tell you that they achieve a real sense of satisfaction from their work - particularly after an incident where their work has had an impact on people. They also find their confidence and self-esteem improves and that they find a great deal of pleasure and a sense of pride in helping others.
About the role
The Special Constabulary is a voluntary body, whose officers form a vital part of the police family to assist their regular colleagues to police the communities of Norfolk. Specials come from all walks of life and are valued members of our organisation, who give up some of their spare time to help us keep the county safe.
What does a special do?
Specials perform a variety of police duties to support regular officers with the day-to-day policing of Norfolk. This could involve foot and vehicle patrols, being part of the immediate response team or assisting with police operations.
As a special, no two shifts are ever the same - you could be dealing with road traffic collisions, public order, domestic disputes, missing persons or fires. You may also be asked to assist at large scale public events. These can range from village and town festivals and local sporting events to county shows and royal visits.
You must complete at least 16 hours of service per month. Your hours will be flexible and you can arrange them according to your personal, home and work commitments. However, in an operational emergency, we may call you out for duty.
The more hours you put in, the more you will get back and the quicker your confidence will grow. Many specials do far more than the minimum required and there is no restriction. We will, however, discourage you from letting your work as a special take over your life.
Where you will be based
You can expect to be based at the nearest police station to your home, but you may have to travel to another station for training.
Training and police powers
Specials have the same powers as regular officers, wear an almost identical uniform, carry the same equipment and receive exactly the same training as their regular officers.
The Special Constabulary comes under the operational command of regular senior officers, but has its own rank structure as follows:
- Special Constable
- Special Sergeant
- Special Inspector
- Special Chief Inspector
- Chief Officer Special Constabulary.