What age limits are there for Special Constables?

Candidates must be at least 18 years old at the time of their 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.

Can non-UK citizens be appointed as Special Constables?

To be eligible for appointment as a Special Constable, applicants should be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. If the candidate is not a national of an EEA member state or Switzerland, they must have permission to enter, or have 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.

Can Special Constables choose where they work?

We will take into account where officers live and try to accommodate their requests. In most cases this is achieved, however, deployment depends on operational need and Special Constables will be required to serve anywhere across the West Mercia policing area, as would a police officer.

Can Special Constables hold political office or take part in politics?

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

If a candidate, or a member of their family, has a criminal record, can this prevent the applicant becoming a Special Constable?

Convictions or cautions will not necessarily prevent applicants from being appointed. It will depend on the nature and circumstances of the offence. However, applications will be terminated if candidates fail to disclose convictions or cautions.

Can Special Constables use Tasers or firearms?

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

Are Special Constables covered by police disciplinary measures?

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.

Should candidates tell their employer about their application to the Special Constabulary?

Yes. There are benefits for employers too in terms of developing new skills that are transferable to the employee's full-time occupation. 

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

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