Special Constables

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Being a Special Constable is a unique opportunity to do something special both for yourself and your community. This vital role gives you invaluable experiences and training that you can use throughout your life to achieve your personal or professional goals. As a Special Constable you will be provided with full training, a uniform, and out of pocket expenses and have all the powers and authority of regular officers.

A Special Constable in Cheshire Constabulary is someone who will be valued, supported and integrated into the wider policing family. They’re someone who will learn new skills, see new things and make tangible differences to the lives of the public they serve. A Special Constable is someone who makes new friends, sees life from new perspectives and upholds the law.

Start your experience today. 

  • A unique challenge like no other, Conflict and Crisis Management, Leadership, Understanding the Law are some of the skills that you will be able to evidence to name but a few – Find out what you are capable of!
  • You will get a real feeling of achievement at having done something to help others, while supporting regular officers and contributing to your local community.
  • Gain a good understanding about real life in your area
  • Increase your circle of friends, you will meet a wide variety of people
  • Experience much more variety in your life – No day will ever be the same
  • Learn to physically defend yourself and deal with conflict
  • Gain confidence by overcoming fresh challenges and opportunities
  • Joining the Specials opens up a world of opportunities for personal and professional advancement. Undergoing the training and then going out on patrol makes a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and challenge every day you volunteer

What will I be doing as a Special Constable?

You are a police officer. You have the same powers in law as every other police officer. You wear the same uniform, you carry the same equipment and you work alongside regular officers. You work on the same operations and alongside our partners; you will focus on problem solving local priorities.

Although you will start contributing immediately there is a structured training programme to ensure you are competent and confident in performing your duties. As a volunteer police officer you will need to contribute at least 16 hours per month, but at a time that fits into your life; as policing is 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Every Special Constable's presence offers essential and much valued support to the regular officers. It is important to remember however, that Specials exist, not as a substitute for the regular police, but as an important complement to the existing force and to the local community.

The work requires real skill and determination and the training provided prepares them for all eventualities.

You will be working as part of a team and the experiences you share by working closely together can lead to lasting friendships. You will learn more about life and human nature than most people will ever see.

All Specials work towards independent patrol status, they will initially patrol with other specials or regular officers until they have proven that they can handle different situations.

Duties that you could get involved with are but not limited to:

  • Spending time at local schools, educating youths about crime reduction and community safety.
  • Make our communities and its people safer by supporting the regular force
  • Improve public confidence and support victims by detecting and investigating crime
  • Improve communication with communities by providing an important link between them
  • Assist the force with many aspects of policing, from high-visibility patrols to traffic operations, counter-terrorism and community safety
  • Make Cheshire a safer place by working with colleagues to bring those responsible for crime to justice, from arrest through to conviction
  • Assisting at the scene of accidents, fights or fires
  • Enforcing road safety initiatives
  • Conducting house-to-house enquiries
  • Providing security at major events
  • Tackling anti-social and alcohol related incidents

For any information about the role of a Special Constable, please email [email protected]

Alongside regular patrols and duties, there are a number of wider opportunities for our Cheshire Special Constables to get involved in. These include the Deployment Support Team, Enhanced Search Team, Cyber Crime Investigation Team, Proactive Licensing team and Roads and Crime Unit.

Visit our Specialist Roles page for more information.

If you would like to be a Special Constable with Cheshire you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen, a citizen of the Irish Republic or a Foreign National with unrestricted right of residence in the UK
  • Resident for three consecutive years in UK prior to application
  • Be able to pass a fitness test and pre-employment checks including medical checks (biometrics, DNA, drug screening)
  • Meet the eyesight standard https://www.cheshire.police.uk/jobs/special-constables/eyesight-standards/
  • Prepared to work shifts and serve anywhere in the Cheshire area
  • Dedicated to providing a service to the people of Cheshire and be prepared to uphold the Police Service Statement of Common Purpose and Values
  • Not be in a job that would be considered a conflict of interest to the role.

The Standards required of a Police Officer are laid out nationally in the Code of Ethics, which can be accessed via the College of Policing website.

For any information about the eligibility criteria, please email [email protected].

There are a number of jobs that are considered incompatible with the role of a Special Constable

Please check the list below to ensure that your current employment will not prevent your application from proceeding. You should not make an application to join Cheshire Police if you work in any of the below roles;

  • Serving members of HM Armed Forces*
  • Members of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force
  • Royal Naval Auxiliary Service
  • The National Hospital Service Reserve
  • Members of the fire service, unless written permission is given by their Chief Officer.
  • Traffic Wardens and School Crossing Patrols
  • Members of employers’ police forces and private constabularies
  • Magistrates
  • Clerks to justices and clerks to courts
  • Probation officers
  • Youth workers and social workers involved in the administration of criminal law
  • Bailiffs, warrant officers, private detectives and inquiry agents
  • Custody escort officers
  • Security personnel, guards and doormen*
  • Anyone working for a security company*
  • Employees of security organisations*
  • Neighbourhood and Street Wardens and other uniformed Patrol Wardens
  • Police Community Support Officers
  • Prison custody officers (Prison Officers are eligible, but only with written permission from their Prison Governor)
  • A local authority parking warden
  • Persons taking an active part in politics
  • Highways Agency Traffic Officers (and traffic officers who are employed by other organisations, such as Vehicle and Operators Services Agency)
  • Border and Immigration officers with powers of arrest
  • Customs Officers
  • Barristers, Solicitors and Judges
  • Members of Police Authorities
  • Transport Network Revenue Protection Inspectors
  • Local Authority field officers e.g.: trading standards officers
  • Civilian enforcement officers
  • Vehicle removal officers

If you are applying for or seriously considering a job in any of the above occupations, please think carefully before you apply for the  Special Constabulary

  • If you start a job in any of the above occupations at any point during your application, or if there are changes in any of the information you provide in your application, you MUST inform us immediately.

* Enquire with [email protected] regarding these occupations or if you feel that your present occupation may preclude you prior to submitting your application form.

Once you have received a formal offer you will be placed on the Specials Initial Foundation Training Course which takes place at headquarters in Winsford.  The training programmes is estimated to take 3 months to complete and offers flexibility for students, with training scheduled on either a Saturday or in the week, 18:00 – 21:00 on two separate evenings.  Some elements of the training are fixed to specific days, i.e. Personal Safety training takes place on 3 consecutive weekends and First Aid training takes place 14:00 – 22:00 midweek.

The course is designed to ensure that you are thoroughly grounded in the basic aspects of police work before you can begin to carry out police duties. You will be trained in self defence, powers of arrest, points of law and preparing evidence for court, among other things.

How long will the recruitment process take?

Every application is different dependent on the amount of references and checks that need to be carried out but it should normally take around 4-6 months. The recruitment process can be delayed by not providing complete and accurate information on your application form.

Can I choose where to work?

Sometimes. It depends on the capacity of the Local Policing Team you have requested.

How many hours will I need to work?

We ask that you volunteer 4.25 hours per week or more if you can.

Am I a Special Constable 24 hours per day, 7 days a week?

You only have the powers of a Constable when you are on duty as a Special Constable. However, if you are not on duty and you find yourself in a situation where you need to use your powers of a Constable, then you can put yourself on duty at that time. You will learn more about these procedures during your training.

Will I be involved in any operations?

Yes, as a Special Constable you are an important resource and therefore will be utilised in many ways, which may include your involvement in local operations and force initiatives.

How much will I be paid?

Special Constables are volunteer police officers. Although you won't be paid, your training and duties will give you unique experiences, new and valuable skills, plus a tremendous sense of achievement of doing something worthwhile for your community. We pay expenses so you will not be out of pocket for giving your time to us.

Will I have to go to court?

Should you make an arrest as a Special Constable and the case is later taken to court you may have to attend court to either give evidence or to be a witness. You will be entitled to any loss of earnings you may incur due to a court appearance.

Will I receive any allowances?

Yes, travel to and from your posted police station will be paid for as well as any other travel expenses made by yourself whilst on duty. If you live outside the force boundary travel costs can only be claimed from the point of entry to the force area. Your uniform is provided and you will receive a boot allowance for appropriate footwear. A refreshment allowance is also paid, this is dependent on the number of hours in any given tour of duty.

Would I be insured if I was injured on duty?

Yes, you would be covered by Cheshire Constabulary’s insurance if you were injured whilst on duty as a Volunteer Police Officer

Would I receive continuous professional training?

Yes. Once you have completed your foundation training course and are out on division performing duty, your continuous training will be delivered at divisional level to ensure you are always up to date with current laws, legislation and procedural matters. You will also be working towards Independent Patrol Status, with the help of a Personal Development Portfolio.

Does being a Special Constable help me become a Police Officer?

Being a Special Constable will enable you to experience all aspects of police work and gain a wealth of professional knowledge. There are promotion prospects within the Specials through their own rank structure. However time served as a Special will not guarantee a position as a regular officer.

Can I join if I have a criminal record?

A number of crimes will mean a definite or likely rejection of your application, including anyone who has received a formal caution in the last five years, committed a violent crime or public order offence. When applying we would recommend honesty.

Can I join if I have tattoos?

You should not have tattoos which could cause offence. Tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of your role. You will be required to supply photographs of tattoos with your application form.

Will my financial status affect my application?

Applicants will have their financial status checked. These checks are carried out because police officers/staff have access to privileged information, which may make them vulnerable to corruption. Applicants with outstanding County Court judgements or who have been registered bankrupt with outstanding debts will be rejected.

Our commitment to Equal Opportunities

Cheshire Constabulary is an equal opportunities employer and wants to have a workforce representative of the communities that we police and serve.

As an employer, we strive to ensure that all our personnel practices, including recruitment, promotion and development are applied consistently and fairly and that the overriding principle governing selection is merit.

We are not fully representative yet and we are addressing this imbalance through a variety of initiatives and by ensuring the conduct and behaviour of our staff is beyond reproach.

Find out more about our commitment to equal opportunities.

Employer Supported Policing (ESP) is a powerful partnership benefiting local and national employers, their staff and the police service by releasing Special Constables and Police Support Volunteers to volunteer in the communities they serve.

There are many benefits for employers, staff, police and local communities. You can find out more information in the Employer Supported Policing section.



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Further information

For any information about the recruitment process please email [email protected] stating the force in which you are interested in joining.