Special constables have the same power, uniform and responsibilities as regular (paid) police officers but volunteer on a part-time basis.
Specials – as they are known – come from all walks of life and backgrounds bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the role. They volunteer a minimum of sixteen hours per month to support local policing.
Being a special constable is not easy. You will be faced with challenging and confrontational situations that most people will never come across in their lifetime. But the rewards can vastly outweigh the challenges. You will gain confidence and new skills, work with a team of equally amazing people, and ultimately, you will have helped people in need or made their life better.
Ensuring public safety
Assisting at the scene of accidents, fires or incidents, helping to control situations and ensuring that people are safe.
Providing security and crowd control at major public events – preventing injuries and disorder.
Carrying out high-visibility foot patrols to deter and detect criminals.
Educating businesses and the community about crime and how to avoid it.
Talking to school children about crime reduction and community safety to help them stay safe and make the right choices.
Confronting anti-social behaviour on the streets such as gangs or intimidating behaviour.
Managing alcohol-related incidents such as public drunkenness or violence.
Enforcing road safety laws in local communities.
Conducting house-to-house enquiries to gather information and support larger enquiries.
Involvement in police operations to disrupt and arrest offenders.
Visiting victims of crime to gather evidence to progress an investigation.
Write your own statements, use Police systems and present evidence in court to support the justice system in prosecuting offenders.
See a different world
Out on patrol, you will deal with situations and people you would probably never encounter in your day-to-day life. Most of all, you will get to see the real impact of crime on people’s lives and the extraordinary power you have as an individual to make a real difference. Being a Special is both exciting and rewarding and for many it is a life changing decision. Whatever your plans, you will find working as a member of the police service, alongside regular officers of all ranks, police staff and other volunteers, an exciting and rewarding experience.
Above all, the feeling that you really are making a difference – making a positive contribution in the fight against crime.
Sense of personal fulfilment.
Develop personal and professional skills.
Learn and develop many transferable skills that often support paid employment or other roles/personal life: e.g. managing confrontational. situations, leadership and personal safety.
Personal satisfaction of learning new skills and gaining confidence.
Learn more about policing.
Show your community that you care.
Meet new people.
Work as part of a team.
Enjoy new experiences.
Discover new things about yourself and just how much you are capable of.
To apply to become a Special you must:
be aged 18 or over
be a British Citizen, a European Union/European Economic Area national or commonwealth citizen, or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK
have a minimum of three years continuous residency in the UK, with less than 12 months spend abroad in the last three years (with some exceptions for those living on a UK military base)
be able to pass our fitness test, reaching level 5.4 on a 15 metre shuttle run (bleep test)
No specific qualifications are required to enable you to become a special constable.
However, should you wish to transfer your learning to being a police constable, under the current apprenticeship scheme you will require Maths and English level 3 (GCSE-C). Not having these qualifications will not stop you applying to be a special constable and Nottinghamshire Police will support you in gaining these qualifications should you wish to journey through to becoming a PC.
A conviction or caution is not an automatic eliminator. You must ensure that you disclose all details of any offences, however minor. Failure to declare any offences may mean that your application is rejected. Checks will be made and each will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Depending on the severity of the conviction, this may affect your application. For example, if you have been convicted of drink driving in the last 10 years then it is likely your application will be refused.
Criminal record of a family member
If your family member has been convicted of a serious offence - eg burglary - then it is likely that your application will be refused.
Applicants must have not been declared bankrupt with outstanding debts, have outstanding County Court judgements against them or be subject to a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). If you have any of these then it is likely that your application will be refused.
An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas without returning to the UK, but with the intention of doing so in the future, such as an individual who takes a gap year prior to or following university or an individual who goes travelling for a year, is considered to have taken an extended holiday. As such, they will maintain residency in the UK and therefore be eligible for consideration under the Residency Criteria.
Nottinghamshire Police apply a maximum time spent out of the UK as 12 months and must be for the reasons stated above (working outside the UK for an extended period is not covered in the above), however, we will discuss any potential issues on a case by case basis.
To be ‘Sworn in’, means that you will be in front of a magistrate, possibly at court and will be required to recite the oath of allegiance to the King.
Special constables are voluntary – they are not paid. You will however be reimbursed for travel expenses and issued with a uniform and appropriate protective equipment.
A special constable is issued with the following: body armour, asp, handcuffs, PAVA incapacitant spray and high-visibility clothing.
Ideally we would like you to commit a minimum of sixteen hours a month.
During your initial training the dates and times you are required to volunteer will be fixed. However, after your initial training the majority of duties you undertake will be flexible and dependent on your availability—with ongoing training the only exception.
After your initial training, attendance is welcome when you are available to attend. Often special constables choose to work weekends because it suits them, but this is not compulsory. Special constables can't be made to report for duty if they don’t want to or can’t make it.
Special constables volunteer their time when they choose to. Nobody will try and force you to work at times that are not suitable. All we ask is that following training, you commit to a minimum of four hours per week – that’s an average of 16 hours per month. However, there are occasions such as a major incident when you maybe contacted at short notice to ask if you can assist with the policing operation.
All special constables are advised to inform their employers of their appointment and the hours they are likely to perform each week so as to satisfy certain requirements under the working time regulations (WTR).
How to contact us
All the answers that you need to know about the recruitment process are contained here. If you still have questions you can email our recruitment team.
To see if we are currently recruiting for this role and to apply now, check our vacancies.
You can also follow us on social media where we share regular updates on new opportunities.