Recruitment opens for Special Constables. Make a difference – join the team!
North Yorkshire Police is looking to recruit at least 70 new Special Constables during its 2016 recruitment campaign which opens on 4 January. Special Constables are volunteer police officers who have the same uniform and powers as regular (paid) police officers. They volunteer a minimum of 16 hours per month to policing York and North Yorkshire and carry out a full range of operational, front-line duties.
North Yorkshire Police currently has 198 Special Constables and is looking for new recruits to be based in every district of North Yorkshire.
“Specials” as they are known, come from all walks of life and backgrounds which means that they bring with them a whole host of skills and abilities which complement those of their regular (paid) colleagues.
They go through a rigorous training programme before they qualify to go out on the beat where they cover a wide range of duties from policing public events, to attending emergency incidents.
They can also choose to undertake further training and specialise in a particular area of policing such as public order, (policing protests, football matches etc) and roads policing.
Chief Constable Dave Jones, who is also the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for Citizens in Policing (the term used for all volunteers in policing), said: “Joining the specials opens up a world of opportunities for personal and professional advancement. It is also a hugely rewarding and unique volunteering experience. The Special Constabulary is developing all the time and as well as being involved in general policing duties, more opportunities are now available for specials to focus on a particular area of policing and build up expertise and experience in that field. By joining the specials, you will be part of a team of like-minded people who really do make a difference to people’s lives, and whose work is appreciated by both regular officers and members of the public alike.”
Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, added: “The specials are an important part of the policing family and their role is highly valued. As well as playing a great role in increasing police presence in our communities, being a special is a great way to meet new friends and develop skills that will stand you in good stead throughout life.“Many people don’t realise that specials undergo extensive initial training as well as training on the job and exercise the same powers as regular officers do. If you want to make a real difference in your community, this is the volunteer role for you.”
To support this year’s campaign, some of North Yorkshire Police’s Special Constables took part in a video giving an insight into why they became a special and how they juggle volunteering with their day-to-day life.
Special Constable Sharon Leverton from Skipton joined North Yorkshire Police’s Special Constabulary when she turned 40. She said: “When I was 18 I did work experience at Skipton police station and afterwards I thought, yes, this is what I want to do. But as I got married, had children and time passed me by, I never actually got around to joining. I love my job as a hairdresser, and when the opportunity arose, I thought why not join as a special? I didn’t expect to get through the application process and was really shocked when I did. I find it really rewarding, really satisfying and I have had some really great moments and learning experiences, I really do enjoy it. If you’re thinking about joining and have the time to spare, I’d definitely recommend it – do it!”
Lucy Hammond is a Special Constable in York, she works full time, has a four-year-old son, is training for a marathon, but still manages to devote 100 hours a month to special duties. She said: “I always wanted to join the police but one thing and another got in the way. I joined the specials to see if it really was for me. It fits really well with my work/life balance and my day to day life. But you do have to be really organised. If you want to do it, you will make those small sacrifices, but they are sacrifices worth making. Being a special is one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done.”
Dave Allen is a Special Constable in Scarborough, he has a young family and helps run his family’s metal plating business. He said: “I joined the specials as I always wanted to join the police, but left school at 16 and went straight into the family business so it never materialised for me. When I got the chance to join as a special, I jumped at it. I find it very rewarding and it’s fantastic to work with the community. I deal with all kinds of incidents from road collisions to missing people. I particularly enjoy working with young, vulnerable people. Knowing that I can help make a difference to their lives is a great feeling.”
Hear more from Sharon, Lucy and Dave in our video.
As a Special Constable, recruits must commit to volunteering a minimum of 16 hours per month, but during their initial training and probation, they are likely to complete significantly more hours. They will also have to commit to ongoing training once their initial training is complete. Initial training is made up of 3-4 months of weekend based training which is mandatory.
For more information, including frequently asked questions, please visit www.nypspecials.com
Recruitment closes at 9am on 1 February 2016.