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.
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.
If you would like further information about the role of a special constable please contact the Citizens in Policing team via email [email protected] or telephone us on 01473 613524 or to gain an application pack, please telephone the recruitment team on 01953 425699 ext 2334 or email: [email protected]
#BeSpecial video featuring Libby Appleyard > click to play.
#BeSpecial video featuring SC Scott Waring > click to play.
#BeSpecial video featuring SC Ayman Al-Aride > click to play.
Recruitment drop in events
Employers Supported Policing Scheme
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
Am I eligible?
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.
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.
Benefits of the role
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 be given 14 core training sessions to help you work effectively and safely as a special constable.
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.
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.
If you would like further information about the role or would like to obtain an application pack, please telephone the recruitment team on 01473 613589 or email: [email protected]. Alternatively, you can download an application pack here: Specials application form.pdf
About the role
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.
As a special, no two shifts are ever the same - you could be dealing with road traffic collisions, public order, domestic disputes, missing persons or fires. You may also be asked to assist at large scale public events. These can range from village and town festivals and local sporting events to county shows and royal visits.
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.
Training and police powers
Specials have the same powers as regular officers, wear an almost identical uniform, carry the same equipment and receive exactly the same training as their regular officers. Training consists of 10 weekend training sessions, that’s Saturday and Sunday over alternative weekends
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