Special Constables

The Special Constabulary recruitment window is open. Apply online now

Being a volunteer police officer is a unique opportunity to do something special both for yourself, your community and your employer. This exciting and enjoyable role gives you invaluable experiences and training that you can use throughout your life to achieve your personal or professional goals.

Join the Special Constabulary

Cheshire's Special Constabulary regularly holds awareness seminar for prospective applicants. Details of the next available seminar will be published on the Current Vacancies page.

Why Join Us?

As a Special Constable you help the local community and make it a safer place to live. You will get a feeling of achievement and accomplishment at having done something to help others, while supporting regular officers and contributing to the local community.

  • Conflict management
  • Prioritisation of demand
  • Leadership
  • Taking personal responsibility
  • Crisis management
  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving
  • An understanding of the law
  • Decision making
  • The delivery of objectives.

Becoming a Special will help you to discover a lot about yourself. You will learn just how much you are really capable of.

  • Understand more about real life in your area
  • Increase your circle of friends
  • Feel valued and wanted
  • Have much more variety in your life
  • Become part of something bigger
  • Face new challenges and opportunities
  • Learn to physically defend yourself and deal with conflict
  • No two days will ever be the same
  • Gain a real sense of achievement
  • Gain confidence.

Joining the Specials opens up a world of opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Undergoing the training and then going out on patrol makes a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and challenge every day you volunteer.

What will I be doing as a volunteer police officer?

You are a police officer. You have the same powers in law as every other police officer. You wear the same uniform, you carry the same equipment and you work alongside regular officers. You work on the same operations and alongside our partners; you will focus on problem solving local priorities.

Although you will start contributing immediately there is a structured training programme to ensure you are competent and confident in performing your duties. As a volunteer police officer you will need to contribute at least 16 hours per month, but at a time that fits into your life; as policing is 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Every Special Constable's presence offers essential and much valued support to the regular officers. It is important to remember however, that Specials exist, not as a substitute for the regular police, but as an important complement to the existing force and to the local community.

The work requires real skill and determination and the training provided prepares them for all eventualities.

You will be working as part of a team and the experiences you share by working closely together can lead to lasting friendships. You will learn more about life and human nature than most people will ever see.

All Specials work towards independent patrol status, they will initially patrol with other specials or regular officers until they have proven that they can handle different situations.

Duties that you could get involved with are but not limited to:

  • Conducting foot patrols
  • Assisting at the scene of accidents, fights or fires
  • Enforcing road safety initiatives
  • Conducting house-to-house enquiries
  • Providing security at major events
  • Presenting evidence in court
  • Tackling anti-social behaviour
  • Tackling alcohol related incidents
  • Spending time at local schools, educating youths about crime reduction and community safety.

For any information about the role of a Special Constable, please email mfss.resourcing@cheshire.pnn.police.uk stating the force in which you are interested in joining.

If you would like to be a Special Constable with Cheshire you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic or a Foreign National with unrestricted right of residence in the UK
  • Resident for three consecutive years in UK prior to application
  • Be able to pass a fitness test and pre-employment checks including medical checks (biometrics, DNA, drug screening)
  • Meet the eyesight standard
  • Prepared to work shifts and serve anywhere in the Cheshire area
  • Dedicated to providing a service to the people of Cheshire and be prepared to uphold the Police Service Statement of Common Purpose and Values
  • Not be in a job that would be considered a conflict of interest to the role.

The Standards required of a Police Officer are laid out nationally in the Code of Ethics, which can be accessed via the College of Policing website.

For any information about the eligibility criteria, please email mfss.resourcing@cheshire.pnn.police.uk.

Stage 1: Attend a recruitment seminar

Although it is not mandatory for you to attend a seminar, these events will give you the opportunity to find out more information about the role and to speak to Special Constables yourself to find out what is involved from those who do the job.

Stage 2: Online application

Complete an online application form.

Stage 3: Application marking

Your application is marked based upon the eligibility criteria. If you are successful at the application stage, you will be invited to an interview.

Stage 4: Interview

The interview will be a formal process, but also friendly and relaxed. It is your opportunity to show the two trained interviewers who you are and what you can offer the people of Cheshire. We will ask you a set of structured questions and the panel will give its marks to you on your answers.

Interviews can be daunting and we recognise how nervous people can be.

Like any other employer we expect people wanting to join us, to know a little about Cheshire Police and the communities we serve. On top of that we will test your potential to deal with a wide range of policing situations that you will be faced with every shift you work with us.

We are looking for people with the right personal qualities and the ability to tell us how they would react or deal with what they are faced with.

Stage 5: Pre-employment checks and conditional offer

  • Fitness test
  • Medical
    • Signed GP statement (fees payable by applicant)
    • Opticians
    • Occupational health (Medical Appt)
  • Drug screening test
  • Biometrics
  • DNA
  • Fingerprints
  • Final vetting/security checks
  • References

Stage 6: Formal offer

A formal offer will be issued if successful at all stages.

Stage 7: Commence training

Once you have received a formal offer you will be placed on the Specials Initial Foundation Training Course which usually takes place at headquarters in Winsford during the day on a Saturday or Thursday evening.

The course is designed to ensure that you are thoroughly grounded in the basic aspects of police work before you can begin to carry out police duties. You will be trained in self defence, powers of arrest, common crimes, and preparing evidence for court, among other things.

What can hold up the process?

  • If information supplied on the application form is incomplete
  • If you fail to inform us of a change of address
  • Delays in receiving references
  • Your holiday commitments
  • Sickness

For any information on the recruitment process or Special Constable training, please email mfss.resourcing@cheshire.pnn.police.uk.

Does my occupation affect my ability to apply?

The following occupations prevent you from applying for a role as a Special Constable as these may cause a conflict of interest:

  • Magistrates
  • Clerks to justice
  • Clerks to Courts
  • Members of employer's Police Forces
  • Holders of liquor licences, managers of licensed houses and their husband or wife
  • Licensees of betting and gaming establishments and lottery promoters
  • Bailiffs and warrant officers
  • Probation officers
  • Members of private security organisations (whether directors, partners or employees)
  • Including security personnel, guards and door staff
  • Prison custody officers
  • Private detectives and enquiry agents
  • School crossing patrols and traffic wardens
  • Certain roles within the NCA
  • Members of Fire Services
  • Members of the Armed Forces
  • If you are a member of the reserve forces then you can join the Special Constabulary and the same works in the opposite directions
  • Members of medical, nursing and midwifery professions, and Ambulance Service (unless written permission is given by their employing NHS Trust or Health Authority)
  • Neighbourhood, street wardens and other uniformed patrol wardens
  • Highways Agency traffic officers.

Subject to approval by the Chief Superintendent of Personnel Services, members of the Territorial Army may be permitted to join the Special Constabulary whilst still serving in the Territorial Army.

Can I choose where to work?

Sometimes. It depends on the capacity of the Local Policing Team you have requested.

How many hours will I have to work?

We ask that you volunteer 4.25 hours per week or more if you can.

Would I receive continuous professional training?

Yes. Once you have completed your foundation training course and are out on division performing duty, your continuous training will be delivered at divisional level to ensure you are always up to date with current laws, legislation and procedural matters. You will also be working towards Independent Patrol Status, with the help of a Personal Development Portfolio.

Does being a Special Constable help me become a Police Officer?

Being a Special Constable will enable you to experience all aspects of police work and gain a wealth of professional knowledge. There are promotion prospects within the Specials through their own rank structure. However time served as a Special will not guarantee a position as a regular officer.

How much will I be paid?

Special Constables are volunteer police officers. Although you won't be paid, your training and duties will give you unique experiences, new and valuable skills, plus a tremendous sense of achievement of doing something worthwhile for your community.

Can I join if I have a criminal record?

A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. When applying we would recommend honesty.

Can I join if I have tattoos?

You should not have tattoos which could cause offence. Tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of your role. You will be required to supply photographs of tattoos with your application form.

Will my financial status affect my application?

Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers/staff have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts will be rejected.

Our commitment to Equal Opportunities

Cheshire Constabulary is an equal opportunities employer and wants to have a workforce representative of the communities that we police and serve.

As an employer, we strive to ensure that all our personnel practices, including recruitment, promotion and development are applied consistently and fairly and that the overriding principle governing selection is merit.

We are not fully representative yet and we are addressing this imbalance through a variety of initiatives and by ensuring the conduct and behaviour of our staff is beyond reproach.

Find out more about our commitment to equal opportunities.

Employer Supported Policing (ESP) is a powerful partnership benefiting local and national employers, their staff and the police service by releasing Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers to volunteer in the communities they serve.

There are many benefits for employers, staff, police and local communities. You can find out more information in the Employer Supported Policing section.



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Further information

For any information about the recruitment process please email mfss.resourcing@cheshire.pnn.police.uk stating the force in which you are interested in joining.