As it is national Specials Weekend (Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 June) we’re celebrating the contribution of these volunteer police officers.
Special Constables are members of the community who give up their own time to don a uniform and help keep their area safe.
To mark Specials Weekend we’re profiling just a few of the 350 Special Constables in the Avon and Somerset policing area.
Where do you patrol? South Gloucestershire.
Why did you join? To give something back to the community and try and help people in need as there isn’t a better feeling. I hope it will also help me to become a regular police officer in the future. I also love meeting people of all walks of life, making them feel people do care after something bad or unexpected has happened to them.
Stand-out moment? My first arrest. The feeling you get when you get your first one, the adrenalin and the feeling of the good you have done. Nothing else can beat that knowing you have done something that makes a difference for the good.
Nothing else can beat that knowing you have done something that makes a difference for the good.
Where do you patrol? North Bristol
Why did you join? I had been accepted as a regular officer but just before starting my training I had an injury which needed an operation, taking several years to reach a level of normality – and it still has implications.
I could not accept that my desire to become a police officer was over and felt that I somehow had to give it a go so opted to try the Special Constabulary which I have been in for about eight years now.
Stand-out moment? Passing the first Investigators’ Course in the UK for Special Constables. This allowed Specials to become attached to investigative teams in Avon and Somerset Constabulary. Investigations asked that we also sit one of their own tests to ensure we met their standards. I passed with a high standard and have been working with the investigative teams in South Gloucestershire for the past five years.
I am proud that Avon and Somerset have given me the opportunity to serve as one of only a few Special Investigators in the UK.
Where do you patrol? Central Bristol
Why did you join? So I could do something that my day job could never offer and have the satisfaction of knowing that my presence alone has made someone feel safer.
Stand-out moment? My stand-out moment would be the time I had to climb over a few fences to find a suspect who was wanted for three burglaries and a number of other drugs offences. It didn’t help that everyone in that street seemed to own a dog that patrolled the garden! I found the suspect and he was put before the court later that day.
Where do you patrol? Frome
Why did you join? I always wanted to be a police officer, but when I first applied (age 18) I didn’t get in and my confidence was knocked. Nine years later I still had the urge to help people. So I applied for the specials, dreading being rejected for a job I wouldn’t even be getting paid to do! But I got in, and now three years down the line I still love helping people in our community.
I live, work and police in the same area. This means I can tackle issues that I think affect our community, such as drug misuse and anti-social behaviour.
We use local intelligence to target our patrols and on one occasion, patrolling with a regular colleague, we came across three men acting suspiciously in a known drug hotspot.
One was on a motocross bike and he made off when he saw us. The other two ran off in different directions. I chased one and my colleague the other.
With the help of a member of the public I caught up with the suspect and he resisted arrest. I managed to get a cuff on one wrist but he was still resisting and I pressed my emergency button for support.
We find that he’s a teenager in possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. He was later given a youth caution as he’d never been in trouble before.
Did you know?
Could you join us as a Special Constable? Find out more https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/about-us/recruitment/special-constabulary/