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Special Constable

'Specials', as the special constables are known, come from all walks of life. They’re teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police areas.

They provide a link between the police and the diverse communities we serve, helping the force meet policing needs and increase the level of public satisfaction.

Specials are sworn in by a magistrate in the same manner as a regular police officer. They work alongside their regular colleagues, are based at the same police stations, have the same powers in law, including the power of arrest, and wear the same uniform.

The role of a special constable

Specials work with the regular force, which means you will work side-by-side with your regular colleagues, responding to all kinds of incidents.

Once qualified for independent patrol, there are opportunities to specialise in other departments. Road policing, investigations and safeguarding vulnerable people are some examples. Specials also work at football matches and other public events, such as galas and concerts. They support regular officers in times of emergency and assist with matters such as crime prevention, taking crime reports, witness interviews, enquiries, escorts, youth diversion and transport.

Special constables drive police vehicles at varying levels of competency and complete the same driving courses as regular police officers.

Special constables are not paid, but do receive meal and mileage expenses to ensure they’re not out of pocket when they turn up to perform a duty. As a special constable, there is also potential for promotion to the following ranks;

  • Chief Officer
  • Assistant Chief Officer
  • Special Superintendent
  • Special Chief Inspector
  • Special Inspector
  • Special Sergeant.

You will find the work of a special constable varied, interesting and at times, exciting. But above all you will have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to reduce crime, disorder and fear in Cambridgeshire.

Benefits of being a special

People join the special constabulary for many different reasons. Some want to give something back to the community, others want to expand their skill sets and life experiences, and some are interested in joining the regular police force and want to know more about what police do.

Joining the Special Constabulary opens up a world of opportunity for personal and professional development. Undergoing the training and then performing the role of a police officer is challenging, but provides a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and new insight with every day you volunteer.

Benefits of being a special constable include;

  • significant learning and development opportunities that would bring a competitive advantage in the employment market
  • gaining confidence
  • significantly widening your life experiences
  • developing teamwork and problem solving skills
  • keeping the people and communities of Cambridgeshire safe by delivering a high-quality policing service.


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