Special Constabulary

Specials recruitment

Recruitment lines for the Special Constabulary are now open.

Special Constables are volunteer Police Officers. They have the same police powers, uniforms and equipment as regular Police Officers but give up  their free time on a voluntary basis, balancing their busy personal lives, family,  day jobs and other commitments around police duties. They do not get paid, but are reimbursed for expenses. 

A Special in Suffolk is someone who will be valued, supported and integrated into the wider policing family. They’re someone who will learn new skills, see new things and make real differences to the lives of the public they proudly serve.  A Special in Suffolk is someone who makes new friends, sees life from new perspectives and upholds the law.  A Special is someone who is proud to serve their county.

Training Programme

The Special Constabulary ‘Foundation’ Learning and Development Programme has been created to provide an up to date training delivery for individuals who successfully pass the Suffolk Special Constabulary recruitment process.

The training course is held over a 14 week period, using a combination of online learning and tutorials, self study and attendance at Police Headquarters.

Attendance at Police Headquarters will be on selected weekend days from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Evening tutorials will be on either a Wednesday or Thursday evening between 7pm and 9pm.

Students will be assessed throughout the course through knowledge checks, written tests and practical assessments.

Dates will be confirmed to successful candidates, but new intakes will take place throughout 2022 in January, April, August and November.

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Recruitment process into Suffolk Special Constabulary

In order to be offered a place on the Special Constabulary Foundation Learning and Development Programme, all applicants will need to have successfully completed the following:

  • Application form which needs to be returned to [email protected]
  • College of Policing assessment centre. You will be sent a link to complete the tests and have 7 days to complete this part of the process.
  • Online or face to face Interview
  • Fitness Test to level 5.4 (held at Police HQ Martlesham)
  • Medical assessment
  • Vetting, which includes the taking of your DNA and fingerprints
  • References

Full details on each element will be provided at each stage.

Please download an application form and submit to [email protected] once complete. If you have any questions or queries please use this email address also.

Please ensure you also read the application guidance.

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Information/Recruitment Events

3rd November - Book your place

6th December - Book your place

For current information about the Special Constabulary, please contact the Specials and Volunteers Team for further information - [email protected]

Entry into the Regular constabulary

If you have 2+ years Special Constable experience as an Independent officer, you will be able to join via the PCDA route. Your experience will be used in place of the usual requirement for Level 3 qualifications, so you will only need to have your Maths and English Level 2s (Functional Skills/GCSEs) and Specials experience to apply.

A Special Constable in Suffolk is an extraordinary person, a remarkable person, a special person, a person proud to serve Suffolk.  Join us and be that person.


#BeSpecial video featuring SC Ayman Al-Aride > click to play.

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We accept tranferees from other forces throughout the year. You do not need to have independent status, but you will be required to go through a Training Needs Analysis with our Citizens in Policing Trainer, after the required pre-employment checks (vetting, medical and references) have been completed. 

In the first instance, please email [email protected] and an initial meeting will be set up to discuss your experiences in policing. 

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About the role
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The Special Constabulary is a voluntary body, whose officers form a vital part of the police family to assist their regular colleagues to police the communities of Suffolk. Specials come from all walks of life and are valued members of our organisation, who give up some of their spare time to help us keep the county safe.

What does a special do?
Specials perform a variety of police duties to support regular officers with the day-to-day policing of Suffolk. This could involve foot and vehicle patrols, being part of the immediate response team or assisting with police operations.

Suffolk Special Constabulary also have a number of specialist areas, which Independent Officers can apply to become part of. These include Roads Policing, Rural Crime, Warrants and Cyber Crime. Additional training is provided if you are successful in obtaining one of these positions.

You must complete at least 16 hours of service per month. Your hours will be flexible and you can arrange them according to your personal, home and work commitments. However, in an operational emergency, we may call you out for duty.

The more hours you put in, the more you will get back and the quicker your confidence will grow. Many specials do far more than the minimum required and there is no restriction. We will, however, discourage you from letting your work as a special take over your life.

Where you will be based
You can expect to be based at the nearest police station to your home, but you may have to travel to another station for training.

Rank structure
The Special Constabulary comes under the operational command of regular senior officers, but has its own rank structure as follows:

  • Special Constable
  • Special Sergeant
  • Special Inspector
  • Special Chief Inspector
  • Chief Officer Special Constabulary
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Case Studies
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Hazel Wenden

Special Constable Hazel Wenden has been with Suffolk Special Constabulary since June 2019.

Click here to read Hazel's Case Study.


Simon Ward

Special Constable Simon Ward has been with Suffolk Special Constabulary since June 2019.

Click here to read Simon's Case Study.

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Employers Supported Policing Scheme
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Our Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme is an initiative that encourages businesses and police to work together to support their staff to become special constables.

This national scheme is already proving successful bringing numerous benefits to employers, employees and the local community.

Businesses on board in Suffolk are: BT/Open Reach, AXA, Willis, Forestry Commission, Waveney and Suffolk Coastal District Councils, Network Rail, Adnams and British Gas.

How can my business support the scheme?

We are keen to strengthen links and work in partnership with local businesses.

Here is how you can support the scheme:

  • Allowing employees flexibility to take time out of employment (paid or unpaid) to conduct duties. This could be achieved in a variety of ways but some employers are currently supporting with between 2 and 12 days a year.
  • Putting up posters and stocking leaflets on volunteer recruitment.
  • Allowing representatives from Suffolk Police to hold recruitment events in your premises.

Benefits to Employers:

  • Supporting their local community
  • Transferable skills
  • Enhanced staff development/training
  • Improved staff morale/motivation
  • Greater staff retention leading to lower recruitment costs and corporate memory retained
  • Crime reduction advice and support
  • Enhanced local reputation with local community
  • Consumer purchase preference
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Am I eligible?
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To be a special constable you must be:

  • Over 18 years old
  • A citizen of: the European Economic Area (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the UK); the Commonwealth; the Irish Republic OR have the right of indefinite stay in the UK.
  • In good health and reasonably fit
  • Be able to pass the vetting criteria.

Height and eyesight
There are no height restrictions but you do have to meet our vision standards. When you apply, you will receive a form that you will need to take to a qualified optician for completion and return.

Additional restrictions
Due to legal restrictions on certain professions serving as special constables, you must not be: 

  • An employee of the security industry including some stewarding roles
  • A member of the armed forces (excluding reserves)
  • A traffic warden
  • A liquor licence holder
  • Involved in the administration of the law
  • Street wardens or rangers
  • Environmental officers
  • Debt collection agents
  • Prison officers
  • Take an active part in politics

If you are employed in any occupation with client privilege or are a member of the medical and health professions, you may apply but your application will be have to meet both your employer's and the Chief Constable's approval. There are other employment restrictions.

Further information

If you would like further information about the specials, please email: [email protected] or check out the College of Policing website.

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Benefits of the role
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As a special constable you will work closely with regular officers in serving the community. This is a great opportunity for you to meet people from all walks of life and gain experience in wide range of policing duties.

You will be presented with constant challenges and opportunities to develop your skills and you will also receive excellent training - both initially and during your first year of service.

In your first year you will complete the Special Constabulary Foundation Learning Programme and then receive ongoing training on a monthly basis.

There will also be ongoing training available to you on new legislation, conflict management and other key skills, which will also support you in your full-time employment and personal development.

Pay and expenses

If you volunteer as a special you receive no pay, as it is a voluntary service. However, you can claim mileage expenses or the cost of travel to and from duty. You can also claim out-of-pocket expenses and/or subsistence whilst on duty. You may also be entitled to a boot allowance if you serve a certain number of hours.

If you lose work pay due to having to attend court to give evidence, we will reimburse you. Sickness benefits will also be paid to you if you are injured on duty.


You will be provided with a free uniform that is virtually identical to that of a regular officer. Your uniform will remain the property of Suffolk Constabulary. We will also issue you with handcuffs, a baton, and CS spray after you have been trained in how to use this equipment and hold the necessary certificates.

Job satisfaction

Speak to anyone serving as a special and they will tell you that they achieve a real sense of satisfaction from their work - particularly after an incident where their work has had an impact on people. They also find their confidence and self-esteem improves and that they find a great deal of pleasure and a sense of pride in helping others.

Further information

If you would like further information about the role or would like to obtain an application pack, please email: [email protected]. Alternatively, you can download an application pack here: specials_application_2020.pdf