Hertfordshire is leading the way nationally with a 'Career Pathways' scheme for Special Constables. This initiative creates more opportunities for our volunteer police officers.
For many years Hertfordshire Specials have been deployed in frontline policing teams, including:
Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPT)
Road Policing Unit (RPU)
Operational Support Team (OST)
The Warrants and Bail Team
Career pathways offers the chance to gain experience within specialisms including:
Operation Scorpion - Plain clothes duties, proactively targeting those who commit burglaries, robberies, drug and vehicle-related crime
Investigative support - Including safeguarding, cyber, modern slavery and human trafficking and Major Crime Unit (MCU).
Each pathway has a structured training programme and aims to further boost closer integration with regular officers.
The project launched in 2019 as part of a national pilot scheme, funded by the Police Transformation Fund.
Meet a Career Pathway Special
It's actually a plain-clothed covert Special - anonymous because he has to be.
Operation Scorpion Special Mark (not using his real identity as Op Scorpion often work covertly)
He’s actually a plain-clothed covert Special - anonymous because he has to be.
It's 6am on a dark January Friday morning, we briefed an hour ago and here I am only five days after completing my method of entry training – we're ready to breach the front door of a suspected drug dealer.
My heart is pounding, I'm nervous but I'm ready. One enforcer, four knocks and I'm first in with short shield in hand, past the dogs, headed for the bedroom, shouting 'Police, with a warrant!'
I'm still shouting: 'Show me your hands, show me your hands' when his hands appear from under his duvet and just as quick I've got the cuffs on: he's shocked, I'm relieved – the search commences.
Class A and B drugs found, multiple rocks and wraps, two arrested for possession with intent to supply and the rest of my Scorpion team are 'happy with that'.
One of, if not THE best shifts I've ever had, the 3am alarm call was definitely worth it and 12 hours later I'm home with a large glass of red!
Closer working with regular officers and teams
More opportunities and extra support.
Their work is even more valued and appreciated.
More training opportunities
Extra high quality training, including courses previously reserved for regular officers.
The chance to take on varied duties and specialise if they wish.
Special Constables and regular officers work to deliver force aims together.
Added support to teams
Thanks to their extra training, Specials support a mix of frontline and specialist police teams, to improve capacity across all areas of policing.
People coming into policing are able to use and develop their existing skillsets, eg languages, safeguarding experience, investigative background.
Recruitment and retention
With this much variety on offer, Career Pathways is a real incentive to join and stay a Special!
Rural Special Constables are dedicated to the needs of rural communities and have been specifically trained to have an understanding of rural issues and the countryside they serve.
They work alongside the Force’s local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and are also used for proactive rural policing operations when required.
They can be involved in everything from investigating heritage crime, hare coursing and dealing with fly tipping, to tackling poaching and investigating wildlife offences.
Like all Specials, Rural Special Constables have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside regular officers.
OP Scorpion is a proactive unit, largely plain-clothed, that targets burglars, robbers and those involved in drug and vehicle crime.
The Special Constabulary OP Scorpion is managed centrally, tasked and deployed where needed.
Op Scorpion Specials receive additional training and guidance for proactive and discreet policing methods as they concentrate on those criminals causing the most harm to our communities.
Like all Specials, Op Scorpion Special Constables have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside regular officers.
Operational Support Unit (OSU)
OSU is a team of Specials trained to deal with priority hot spots across the county including night-time economy issues, such as licensing, public order and raves.
The unit is often first on the scene of an incident and deals with serious incidents, such as knife crimes, large raves and assisting in locating and arresting people who have made off from other officers.
All unit members, including the response driver and supervisor, are trained to be first on scene in larger scale public disorder and in method of entry techniques.
Like all Specials, OSU Special Constables have full police powers, uniform and protective equipment and work alongside regular officers.
Ordinary people make extraordinary Specials
Could you make a difference in your community by becoming a Special Constable?