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Frequently asked questions

This section contains frequently asked questions about Special Constables.

  • Q:

    Does being a Special Constable help me to become a police officer?

    A:

    Being a Special Constable will enable you to experience all aspects of police work and gain a wealth of professional knowledge. While time served as a Special Constable will not guarantee a position as a regular officer, it gives you an insight into the service and will help you meet the criteria and gain the attributes needed to become a police officer. You will be serving your community, gaining firsthand experience of the job and building up knowledge that will help with your police officer application, should you wish to apply to become a regular police officer or police community support officer (PCSO).

  • Q:

    Will I receive continuous professional training?

    A:

    Yes, once you have completed your initial training course, further training will be delivered as required to ensure you are always up to date with current laws, legislation and procedural matters. During your first year you will also be working towards Independent Patrol Status, with the help of a mentor.

  • Q:

    Can I get promoted?

    A:

    Yes, The Special Constabulary has a rank structure and through promotion you could become a Special Sergeant, Special Inspector, Special Chief Inspector, Special Deputy Chief Officer or Special Chief Officer. Each rank progression brings extra responsibility as with the regular service.

  • Q:

    Are Special Constables entitled to receive expenses?

    A:

    Special Constables are volunteers and are not paid for performing the role. However, Special Constables are provided with uniforms free of charge and are entitled to be reimbursed for any reasonable expenses. Travel expenses within the force area that are incurred during duties as a Special Constable are paid at a rate per mile or by submitting public transport tickets. Taxis are not included.

  • Q:

    How many hours do Special Constables have to volunteer?

    A:

    We ask that you volunteer for a minimum of 16 hours per month. Most police forces expect members of their Special Constabularies to perform around four hours duty per week.

  • Q:

    Can I choose where I work?

    A:

    We will take into account where you live and try to accommodate your requests. In most cases this is achieved, however deployment depends on operational need and you will be required to serve anywhere across Warwickshire, as would a police officer.

  • Q:

    Do I have the same authority as a regular officer?

    A:

    Special Constables have the same powers of arrest as a regular police officer. You also wear the same uniform, which is provided for you.

  • Q:

    What age limits are there for serving as a Special Constable?

    A:

    You must be at least 18 years old at the time of your application. There is no upper age limit for appointment to the Special Constabulary, however all applicants are tested to ensure they are physically fit enough to perform the role.

  • Q:

    Can non-UK citizens be appointed as Special Constables?

    A:

    To be eligible for appointment as a Special Constable, you should be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. If you are not a national of an EEA member state or Switzerland, you must have permission to enter or leave to remain in the UK for an indefinite period. All applicants must be resident in the UK free of restrictions, or have an entitlement to do so.

  • Q:

    If I hold political office or take an active part in politics, can I become a Special Constable?

    A:

    The position regarding Special Constables in Home Office police forces is that they should not take an active part in politics.

  • Q:

    If I have (or a family member has) a criminal record, can I serve as a Special Constable?

    A:

    Convictions or cautions will not necessarily preclude you from being appointed. It will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. However, your application will be terminated if you fail to disclose convictions or cautions.

  • Q:

    Can Special Constables use Tasers or firearms?

    A:

    The agreed view of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) is that Special Constables will not be issued with Tasers or firearms.

  • Q:

    Are Special Constables covered by police disciplinary measures?

    A:

    Special Constables are subject to the same 'code of ethics' policy as regular police officers. Arrangements for police misconduct and unsatisfactory performance proceedings are kept under continuous review by the College of Policing.

  • Q:

    Should I tell my employer?

    A:

    Yes. There are benefits for your employer too in terms of developing new skills that are transferable to your full-time occupation.

  • Q:

    Can employers be compelled to release their employees to perform duty as Special Constables?

    A:

    As Special Constables are volunteers, they cannot be compelled by law to report for duty.