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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Mehrannisa, Special Constable

Helping others whilst progressing my career.

Mehrannisa was a student when she found out about the Special Constabulary at a law fair at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). “I approached the Avon and Somerset Police stand and explained I wanted to be involved in a role that included supporting domestic violence victims. I was told to consider being a police officer, which I initially responded to with: ‘like, how?!’ so instead I looked into being a Special Constable and realised the attraction of being one.”

Mehrannisa has always had a keen focus on helping vulnerable adults. “I have an autistic brother who has severe needs, and this has taught me a lot about communication and how best to deal with vulnerable adults.”

She continues, “I am also deeply passionate about supporting victims of serious crime, specifically domestic violence and safeguarding children. These are all circumstances that police officers find themselves dealing with daily. When I learned that I could be the first response to these individuals, it really inspired and encouraged me to apply.”

Flexibility and being part of a team

Mehrannisa likes the flexibility of being a Special Constable whilst still being able to pursue her chosen career and that she is part of a team.

“There is good team spirit and morale when you go in to support your team and they do appreciate you giving your time to be there. I would be lying if I didn’t say I find it exciting when interesting jobs and pursuits do arise! But my favourite shifts have been where I have made a difference and have been able to support a vulnerable victim.”

“I like the flexibility of being able to be a Special whilst pursuing my day job.”

“I started training in October 2015 and my first official shift was in March 2016, so I’ve been a Special for over four years. Initially, I didn’t struggle with the work, life and volunteering balance too much. As I joined in my third year of university, so I managed to find quite a few free days to make it work.”

“However, there was a point where I was working full time, studying a post-graduate masters part-time on alternate weekends, and trying to fit in shifts (as well as keeping sane and socialising). That was a tricky two years, I am still training, studying at university and working full time, but I have managed to find ways to make it work. Sometimes I will now prioritise going in for a shift over a social event.”

Making a difference

“There are many moments that make me feel proud to be a Special Constable from arresting someone twice the size of me to then building a good rapport with them, to effectively referring individuals to appropriate support networks, protecting victims from serious domestic violence, and safeguarding children.”

Mehrannisa continues: “Ultimately, I am proud to be part of a team of regular officers who do an incredible job every day and still give the time to support you in your Special duties. You really will never understand the role of a police officer until you see it first-hand. I have learnt so much from the role about the wider society we serve.”

“It really does flourish your understanding of diverse cultures and communities which is invaluable in itself.”

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