What it's like to become a Special Constable

Career Advice
22 July 2016 | Career Advice | Guest Author

The groundbreaking alliance between Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police is informed by a vision of protecting people from harm. And it’s a vision that graduates are ideally equipped to deliver, especially in the role of Special Constables, as they bring new commitment, flexibility, skills, experiences and knowledge that benefit our communities, partners and workforce.

What is a Special Constable?

Special Constables are volunteers from all walks of life who are fully warranted police officers, dealing with some of the toughest challenges the police have to face.

Fully-trained Special Constables have full police powers, wear a police uniform and work alongside regular police officers and police staff. They have opportunities for promotion, offering the chance to develop leadership and management skills.

Special Constables are expected to commit to a minimum of 16 hours a month; the hours can be flexible to fit around work and home life, and it is guaranteed no two shifts will ever be the same.

What does the work of a Special Constable involve?

As a Special Constable you can do everything that a regular police officer does, including:

  • visible patrols in police vehicles and on foot
  • roads policing initiatives
  • searching people, vehicles and premises
  • investigating crime, arresting suspects, taking statements from witnesses
  • policing major events such as festivals, football matches
  • tackling local issues, ie anti-social behaviour, harassment

What are our values?

  • We take pride in our professionalism and standards of behaviour
  • We listen and engage
  • We use professional judgement and are courageous in making decisions
  • We seek out better ways of working
  • We lead with confidence and do the right thing
  • We work in partnership to provide the best service we can

Our organisation and our employees

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police strive to provide a working environment which has a public service ethos with high values, standards and integrity. It is an environment founded on a culture of trust, where people work together, feel motivated, and are confident to challenge and strive to be innovative.

We value employees and welcome diversity; we offer flexible and fair conditions of employment in a safe, supportive, family-friendly organisation with open and transparent policies and practices.

We support our employees in a varied and challenging career while promoting learning and development, continuous improvement and personal responsibility for our staff. To achieve this we are investing in our people to develop a skilled, efficient and effective workforce that reflects the changing needs and demands of the police service.

Leadership development

Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police seek to develop and enable our leaders to achieve the best for themselves and their people, by recognising and nurturing talent for the future. We are creating an environment where our people feel empowered to exercise professional judgement, utilise their emotional intelligence and feel comfortable and confident to challenge. We will ensure our people have the confidence and capability to deliver our vision and values by developing effective leadership qualities.

What attributes do we look for in Special Constables?

We are looking for people driven by the core values of policing, people who work with passion and energy but retain calmness and clarity under pressure. Our Special Constables also demonstrate resilience in responding and adapting to high pressure and complex situations.

Our Special Constables are quick to adapt and confident to lead change, and have the abilities to understand and exploit the benefits of technology and good business practice.

Our volunteers empower, trust and support individuals to succeed. They cope with the challenges of emerging crime and public safety issues, value difference and diversity, and readily accept personal accountability while retaining the trust of communities and those whom they lead.

How can you find out more and apply to become a Special Constable?

Visit our websites (www.warwickshire.police.uk/specialconstables or www.westmercia.police.uk/specialconstables), which contain information about the roles and responsibilities of Special Constables, and extensive guidance on the recruitment process.

Alternatively, speak to our Special Constabulary Project Team on 01905 331395 or email them with your questions at specials@warwickshireandwestmercia.pnn.police.uk

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