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Criminology student by day, special constable by night

January 10, 2021
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A special constable has continued to provide dozens of hours a week to supporting the force throughout the pandemic.

Special Constable Sid Cook, began working for Nottinghamshire Police in July 2019. Despite it being a requirement of his degree course in criminology at Nottingham Trent Univeristy, SC Cook quickly grew to really enjoy the role, finding it extremely rewarding. It also gave him an insight into the sense of comradery that being part of the policing family entails and the social side of the organisation.

When the pandemic hit, he decided to stay in Nottingham rather than return to his home town of Market Deeping near Peterborough.

He said: "I figured that we'd be low on numbers with officers going off sick if they get covid as well so I stayed up here and because of that I put a lot of hours in. From about mid-March I was working pretty much full-time until uni started back up again."

During this time special constable Cook racked up 1070 hours of policing service which saw him out on the streets in the city centre, on the front line, providing a visible presence and responding to incidents.

His work prompted him to be nominated for the Special Constable of the Year award by volunteer coordinator, Paula Goodband. He was successful and presented with the accolade at the force awards in November 2020.

SC Cook is now in his third and final year of university and has continued to undertake his volunteering, working at least ten hours every week alongside his studies.

He said: "The final year of my course is demanding but the volunteering provides a welcome break from my studies and has given me a focus at a time when I can't really do a lot else (due to the pandemic). I also really enjoy it so I don't see it as a chore or laboursome."

Special Constable Cook has worked on a number of cases from start to finish, making several arrests and is given the same responsibility as a police constable. One of the jobs he recalls was investigating a theft from vehicle series which resulted in a foot chase: "It was my job from start to finish. I investigated the reports, identified a suspect and myself and another special constable, Amy Sutton, went out to arrest him. It did result in a foot chase but fortunately we won out, arresting the man and the case resulted in him receiving a six month prison sentence."

Paula Goodband, said: "The special constables were amazing and the number of hours they provided through covid was pretty much on par with our full time officers.

We had a lot of special constable's furloughed and we work very closely with the universities and we had all of our university specials remaining at work.

"It supports students with their studies and gives them opportunities to see what work is like and I think it also brakes down those barriers to our really wide communities to say come and see what we're doing and come and volunteer for us and you will hugely benefit."

"It should be important all the time but it's important for me that people, especially as they're volunteering are happy and settled and want to come in. It's so important that we make them feel valued and make the feel welcomed."

SC Cook hopes to continue to progress his career at Nottinghamshire Police having applied for a police constable role.

He has been successful in the final interview and is waiting on a start date.


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