The Special Constabulary is a part-time, volunteer body which works alongside statutory police forces. The ‘specials’ have powers similar to their regular colleagues and perform almost all police duties. The role is varied and can be demanding. You might find yourself doing anything from policing sports events to helping guard crime scenes.
Special constables come from all walks of life and form a vital link between the police and the local community.
Assistant Chief Constable, Operations Richard Berry, recognises the great work that the Special Constables do:
"This Constabulary is superbly served by just over 120 members of the Special Constabulary. Together, these men and women dedicate their free time, on top of their regular jobs and busy lives, to policing the county and by doing so make a huge contribution to delivering the Police and Crime Plan across the county and beyond.
“We are extremely grateful for everything they do. Their participation in the policing of the county, as well as running special operations and dealing with major incidents, is a great example of how our Special Constables support us in our essential daily business and at the major crime end of policing. This is becoming increasingly the case – and for this I am very grateful."
Vetting Residency Criteria Statement
The need for the residency rule arises from the requirement to vet all applicants in an equitable manner. It is to ensure that applicants have a checkable history in the UK, so that meaningful vetting enquiries can be undertaken. The criteria provide some reassurance when considering the Health and Safety of police personnel and the public. The UK Police Service does not currently have any means of facilitating vetting enquiries overseas to the extent required for those who have been resident in the UK. Effective vetting cannot be conducted if there is no way to assess the honesty, integrity, reliability and overall suitability for clearance of their appointees against the information, or lack of information, available.
To meet the eligibly criteria you must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom. Depending on the role, the vetting clearance varies. The minimum period for UK residency, which you must also meet, for Recruitment Vetting is 3 years and for Management Vetting is 5 years. This is calculated for the period of time immediately before an application is made, and not any other time spent in the UK.
Gloucestershire Constabulary has agreed a reasonable concession to consider applicants who have been on holiday outside the UK, provided this does not exceed more than 3 months within the minimum residency period shown above.
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. We pay reasonable mileage expenses, so you will not be out of pocket for giving your time to us.
Yes. You have the same powers of arrest as a regular officer when on and off duty and can use these powers throughout England and Wales. You also wear the same uniform which is provided for you.
As a Special Constable, you will carry out the same duties as a regular police constable. This means you will be responding to 999 calls, arresting, detaining and dealing with suspects - just the same as a regular Police Constable - operating on the front line, supporting victims and witnesses of crime, providing reassurance and instilling confidence in the service.
Being a Special Constable is an incredible window on the "other side" of life, one that most people don't even know exists and which they are unlikely ever to come into contact with. You will see people at their very worst (and sometimes at their best). You will have to use your strength of character and common sense to deal with incidents ranging from missing persons to burglaries, assaults and car accidents. These experiences are of course going to change you and the way you view life. You will "harden" to them as you become more experienced.
Being a Special Constable is usually interesting, occasionally dangerous and sometimes frustrating. But almost always hugely rewarding. You need to have a robust sense of humour and plenty of common sense and try to avoid getting too cynical - difficult sometimes!
This is flexible. There are now opportunities in more specialist roles and Special Constables are not necessarily “tied” to a particular shift or location.
We ask that you volunteer 16 hours per month or more if you can.
Through promotion, you can rise up through the Special Constabulary ranks. Each rank progression brings extra responsibility as with the regular service.
Yes. Once you have completed your initial training course and are out performing duty, your continuous training will be delivered 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 Development Portfolio (PACS).
Special Constables are now a fundamental part of how we deliver policing and the Association of Chief Police Officers recognises the importance of continuing to further professionalise the Special Constabulary nationally with the introduction of the national rank structure, national strategy and professional development through national occupational standards supported by the College of Policing.
Conversely, many Special Constables bring specialist transferable skills attained outside of the police service to the organisation and many possess training and experience that are not ordinarily gained within the police.
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 Special Constabulary through their own rank structure. However, time served as a special officer will not guarantee a position as a regular officer.
We accept applications from people aged 18 and upwards. The upper age limit is dependent on your ability to be fit and healthy and pass the medical. But bear in mind that the normal retirement age is 60 years and that new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.
You must be a British citizen, an EC/EEA national or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the United Kingdom.
Foreign nationals and UK citizens who have lived abroad may have to wait some time for security and vetting clearance. All applicants have to be vetted to the same standard before appointment.
You have to have been resident in the UK for 3 years before applying, the exception being if the absence was for less than three months or if you were serving or living outside the UK as a result of a military deployment.
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.
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.