Latest News

Volunteer for something ‘Special’ in 2017

29/12/2016

Special Constabulary

As December is drawing to a close and with 2017 on the very near horizon, many people have already made their New Year’s resolutions. If you haven’t yet decided what your resolutions should be, why not consider making a difference in your community by joining Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary?

 

Become a volunteer police officer (Special Constable) with Hertfordshire Constabulary and you could kick off your year by doing something rewarding and exciting while developing a wide range of skills – all through dedicating at least 16 hours per month.

 

Recruitment of Special Constables


Hertfordshire Constabulary is actively recruiting Special Constables and is looking for motivated team players wanting a challenge.  Special Constables have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside the regular force.

 

Special Constables get involved in all areas of frontline policing - from high visibility patrols around pubs and clubs at the weekend and being called to assist at the scene of a road traffic collision or burglary to arresting offenders or reassuring and advising residents after a crime has occurred.

 

Aside from ‘response’ or local Safer Neighbourhood policing, there are constantly evolving opportunities to work within specialist policing environments, such as the investigation of child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and prisoner processing.  Special Constables with specialist IT knowledge also work alongside police officers and staff who manage registered sex offenders.


Those with an interest or expertise in the countryside and rural issues can become Rural Special Constables who are dedicated to the needs of rural communities.  They work alongside our Rural Operation Support Team (ROST) and local police Safer Neighbourhood Teams investigating heritage crime or wildlife offences, tackling hare coursing or poaching, to dealing with fly-tipping or the theft of heating oil.

 

Acting Inspector Debbie Jacyna, Special Constabulary Development Manager, said: “The opportunity to gain experience in specialist departments, at hours and dates to suit you, is uniquely available to Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary.  We are keen to utilise specialist skills or foreign languages that officers have by deploying into the relevant department, as well as assisting with neighbourhood policing.”


Once initial training is complete, Specials are coached by regular officers to complete their Police Action Checklists and are then deemed fit for independent patrol.  On average this can take around 12 months.

 

If you would like more information on becoming a Special Constable, visit www.hertspolicecareers.co.uk  and click on ‘apply online’ or browse the pages to find out more.

 

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, said: “Specials play a vital role in keeping the county safe and I am keen to welcome as many as possible into the Force.

 

“In my new Community Safety and Criminal justice plan for Hertfordshire I outline how I am aiming for more people, like the Special Constables, to get involved and to play their part in helping to keep crime low in the county. I would therefore encourage anyone looking for a new challenge in 2017 to consider becoming a Special Constable.”

 

So, if you are 18 or over, can multi-task, have great interpersonal skills and want to give something back to the community for at least 16 hours a month in your free time, why don’t you make a positive change for 2017 that will make a real difference and become a Special Constable or Rural Special Constable?

 

Hertfordshire case studies

 

Grace Menhinick – Special Constable, Bishop’s Stortford

 

Grace MenhinickGrace Menhinick has been a Special Constable for over four years and is based in Bishop’s Stortford, East Herts. Grace also works for Hertfordshire Constabulary in her day job within the Major Crime Unit and previously worked as a detention officer within custody suites at police stations in Hertfordshire.

 

Grace first joined the Special Constabulary while she was studying at university and used her experiences to help support her degree in Crime and Investigative Studies.

 

The hours she undertakes as a Special Constable vary each month due to the demands of her day job, but Grace’s contribution ranges from 20 to 70 hours each month. She is also able to benefit from the Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme, as Hertfordshire Constabulary gives her eight hours out of her day job each month to conduct duties as a Special. For further information about ESP, please click on the following link: Special Constabulary ESP.

 

Special Constables have the opportunity to work alongside different departments and Grace has taken advantage of these opportunities. She has assisted the rural team, spent a day with the dog unit and completed suspect interview training.

 

Grace said: “I became a Special Constable for a number of reasons; I wanted to help look after and protect a community, tackle crime and disorder and support victims of crime. I enjoy the team work and team spirit. I like the flexibility of choosing when to put my uniform on and work as a Special. It is a job like no other. There are difficult moments but overall it is an amazing experience.”

 

Zak Watson – Special Constable, Hitchin

 

Zak Watson has been a Special Constable for just over a year and is based at Hitchin Police Station. Working as an assistant manager in retail, Zak is used to working alongside and supporting members of the public in an often demanding role. Zak Watson

 

Before joining the Special Constabulary, Zak was a volunteer police cadet in North Herts. He used his time as a cadet to support his application to the Special Constabulary and already had some policing knowledge such as cautions, how to search an offender and how to deal with a road traffic collision.

 

Zak regularly dedicates 60 hours per month as a Special Constable but has previously been able to offer up to 80 hours, depending on his other commitments.

 

Zak said: “The main thing I like about being a Special Constable is the variety of work you can get involved in – no two shifts are ever the same.

 

“Being a Special has given me a different outlook on life and the amount of support I receive from fellow Specials and regular officers is amazing.

 

“For anyone considering joining the Special Constabulary, I would tell them to do it. You won’t regret it and it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.”


Alex Whittle – Special Constable, Hemel Hempstead

 

Alex WhittleAlex Whittle has been a Special Constable for six years and is currently an Acting Special Sergeant based at Hemel Hempstead Police Station.  Employed full time as a civil servant, Alex works a shift pattern which gives him the flexibility to be involved in variety of duties as a Special.

 

Alex originally joined the Special Constabulary as he had aspirations to join the police as a paid officer, but as his day job took another turn he is now content with being a volunteer police officer.

 

Alex’s employer also allows him six paid days a year to conduct duties as a Special through the Employer Supported Policing (ESP) scheme. For further information about ESP, please click on the following link:  Special Constabulary ESP

 

On average Alex is able to work 40 hours a month as a Special but this is dependent on his other commitments. Alex said: “I like the skills that being a Special Constable has given me; I am much more confident now than I was before I joined.

 

“I was the first Special Constable in Hertfordshire to complete a response driving course which means that I can make use of the blue lights and sirens to attend incidents.

 

“Joining the Special Constabulary will be the most rewarding decision that you will ever make. All you have to give is 16 or more hours per month and you will be rewarded with a whole new skill set that is maintained by regular training, a peer group that looks out for you and is always on hand to help, and the feeling that you are making a difference in your community.”

 

Andrew Lobel – Special Inspector, Stevenage

 

Andrew Lobel joined the Special Constabulary in 2006 and has previously worked alongside specialist teams such as the ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) Team. He is now a Special Inspector on the emergency response team based at Stevenage Police Station.Andrew Lobel

 

In his day job, Andrew is head of a group of high tech companies in London. Skills such as leadership, decisiveness, confidence and versatility are easily transferred from Andrew’s paid employment to his duties as a Special Constable.

 

Andrew dedicates an average of 70 hours per month to the Special Constabulary. To ensure he has time to complete his duties, Andrew dedicates specific days and times throughout the month to fit in with his job and home life.

 

Andrew said: “Many of the special skills I use at work I'm able to bring into policing and, likewise, I continue to develop skills in the police service which complement and enhance my day job.

 

“I've developed a defined sense in understanding different people in different situations. This has come not just from speaking with people on the outside, but also working and speaking with people within our policing family. This is one of my most favoured skills that I've developed.

 

“If you're looking for something which will challenge you, develop you - where every day will be different, then come and talk to us. I have yet to meet a Special Constable who regrets joining.”

 

Andy Kowalski – Special Sergeant, Rickmansworth

 

Andy KowalskiAndy Kowalski has been a Special for over 12 years. He is currently serving as a Special Sergeant based at Rickmansworth Police Station.

 

In his day job Andy works full time as an Information Systems Manager for a records management company. As his job requires him to work Monday to Friday, Andy carries out most of his Special Constabulary duties on a Friday evening and at the weekend.

 

Andy dedicates an average of 35 hours each month to the Special Constabulary which are mainly made up of mobile patrol duties with another volunteer police officer.

 

Andy said: “The role of a Special Constable takes me away from the stresses and worries of running a business. It is rewarding and the different environment allows me to get to know both young and old in the community. I enjoy myself every time I put the uniform on and do the job.

 

“For anyone considering becoming a Special Constable, I would encourage them to attend one of the Information Evenings to find out more about the role, talk to serving Specials and understand the commitment required.”

 

To find out when the next information evening is, click here.

 

Charlie Marshall – Special Constable, St Albans

 

Charlie Marshall has been a Special Constable for ten months and is based at St Albans Police Station. He has aspirations to join Hertfordshire Constabulary as a regular police officer and made the decision to join as a Special Constable to see what life on the front line is like.Charlie Marshall

 

In his day job, Charlie works part time as a butcher and fishmonger. This public facing role means that he regularly interacts with members of the public and strives to deliver a professional service.  Charlie is able to utilise customer service skills learnt in his day job to assist with his voluntary role as a Special Constable.

 

Charlie has volunteered over 450 hours as a Special in the last ten months and his monthly hours range from 25 to 70, dependant on other commitments.

 

Charlie said: “The biggest reward I have gained from being a Special Constable is going home knowing I have helped people. Just putting some hours aside every month to help your community will make a huge difference to a lot of people’s lives.

 

“The teamwork and friendships that you build are very strong and everyone looks out for one another. Joining the Specials has allowed me to gain so many life skills in such a short amount of time and it is the best thing I have ever done.”

 

Daniel Cook – Special Constable, Hatfield

 

Daniel CookDaniel Cook has been a Special Constable for eight months and is based at Hatfield Police Station. Daniel is currently a full time student at the University of Hertfordshire studying for a degree in Mathematics. He also works part time as a sales assistant.

 

As the hours are so flexible, Daniel is easily able to perform his Special Constable duties around his studies and part-time employment. He is able to commit a minimum of 50 hours per month to being a Special, but these increase over the summer months while he is not studying.

 

Daniel said: “Being a Special has added an extra dimension to my life. I have seen and dealt with people from all walks of life, some at their lowest points. It has opened my eyes to the world we live in and I believe I have grown more in the past eight months than I had in the previous 20 years.

 

“One minute I can be sitting at a desk, the next I’m weaving in and out of traffic on blue lights heading towards someone that desperately needs help. I would advise anyone considering taking on the role of Special Constable to go for it. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have helped someone, or even saved their life.”

 

Simon Duncan – Special Sergeant, Watford

 

Simon Duncan is a Special Sergeant based at Watford Police Station and has been in the Special Constabulary for seven years. Whilst living in America, Simon was a volunteer fire fighter and emergency medical technician. When he and his wife returned to the UK, Simon chose to join Hertfordshire’s Special Constabulary.Simon Duncan

 

In his day job Simon works as a chief financial officer for a solar energy company. This role mainly involves working with legal documents and numbers, whereas being a Special requires making on-the-spot decisions and interacting with members of the public.

 

Simon’s desire to make use of different skills from his paid role is what attracted him to the Special Constabulary. On average Simon volunteers over 40 hours per month as a Special and has recently taken part in a two week response driving course.

 

Simon said: “I thought at 49 I was too old to become a Special Constable but that definitely was not the case.  As an experienced Special you get sent to the same calls as a regular officer which includes burglaries, missing people, assaults and road traffic collisions. The role is never boring and I would urge anyone considering it to give it a go.”

 

Steven Curran – Special Constable, Broxbourne

 

Steve CurranSteven Curran has been a Special Constable for a year and is based at Cheshunt Police Station. Good communication, decision making and leadership skills are required to be a Special Constable. As CEO of the VioVet Group, Steven is able to transfer these skills from his full-time role and as a volunteer police officer.

 

Steven volunteers on average 80 hours per month as a Special Constable and gets involved in a range of duties including public order, community engagement and assisting with the local volunteer police cadet group.

 

Being a special Constable allows Steven to meet and help a wide range of people from his local community. Steven said: “Being a police officer is an ever evolving, community focused role. You are a first responder, a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to and in some cases a friend to lend an ear – that is what makes it exciting.

 

“Being a Special Constable will give you skills you never knew you needed and create a greater meaning in your life. You will have the ability to change someone’s life, maybe not on your first day, but it will happen.”