Rank: Special Constable Day Job Title: Panel Technician Special Since: November 2020
What made you decide to join the Special Constabulary? I always wanted to be a Police Officer. Most of my family members are in the force back where I grew up, but I decided to take a different path as a teenager and move to the UK. As I pursue my career as a Panel Technician, I was quite settled in my job, and I didn’t want to leave. Someone mentioned to me about the specials and that this will be a good opportunity to join and be a police officer, but at the same time to keep my day job.
How do you find the balance between working as a special constable in line with your current employment? My employer is very supportive and so is the Constabulary. I do not have to take any time off from my day job to volunteer, which is great, and I only need to give a minimum of 16 hours to the Constabulary which is quite handy. The role is very flexible and I only volunteer in my spare time, which usually falls on an evening or weekends.
Do you feel supported by the Constabulary since joining as a special constable? Absolutely! I was a bit concerned at the beginning, mainly because I had some unpleasant situations in the past with other individuals, based on the fact that I was not a national and that lead to some trust issues. Since I became part of the Constabulary, I had all the support needed and always been looked after. I have never experienced the same situation again and everyone treated me fairly and equally. In fact, I was a great asset to the force and now I am at the point where I am leading an amazing team of volunteers.
What tasks would you undertake during a shift as a special constable? I have recently decided to become a Constable again after being a Special Inspector. As a SInsp my role would look after all the specials based at Warrington Police Station and make sure they are undertaking their duties appropriately. Being in contact with the local policing units (LPUs) supervision daily and making sure that we provide all the support needed for them, but at the same time, making sure our team are being looked after and treated fairly.I would also carry out my special inspector duties and respond to jobs, the same as any other officer on shift. There are days where I take new special constables out on shift and tutor them, allowing them to take the lead at incidents but at the same time giving them directions and indications to achieve the best result.
What do you enjoy most about working within the Special Constabulary? As a Special Constable, the greatest satisfaction comes from helping people in need and making sure they are looked after. Helping the community is something that I am really focused on, and it gives me great pleasure when you know that you did something GOOD.
When I was a Special Inspector, the satisfaction was great knowing that I could deliver support and guidance to such a great team, helping them to also get the satisfaction from being a special that I did.
What do you find most rewarding from your role as a special constable? Knowing that people are being looked after and supported, regardless of whether they are victims of crime or simply members of the public. If you volunteer as a Special Constable, you don’t do it for the money or anything else. You do it because you want to do GOOD and make a DIFFERENCE in the communities. I don’t think there is a better reward than booking off after a shift and knowing that you managed to make even a tiny change for someone or for the community they live in.
Would someone need prior experience in another field in order to be part of the Special Constabulary? Special constables receive great training and that covers most of the things they need to know. As much as life experience is a big bonus, we all understand that not everyone is at a point in life where they had to deal with different situations or have the required skills from their job role. But after everyone receives their training, they get doubled up with an experienced officer who will look after them and boost their knowledge even more. This is the process that every single special constable will have to go through after finishing their training, in order to gain independent patrol status. Each one of them will receive a personal development plan and will be on duty with a more experienced officer to gain the extra knowledge needed.
What would you say to someone considering joining the Special Constabulary? I’d say that this will be the best decision ever, although the role requires commitment and perseverance. It will be a great experience and will also make them an even better person. I can say that from experience. Becoming a Special Constable was the right choice for me and I strongly encourage anyone to do it.