Special constables are volunteers who work closely with regular officers to help police their communities. They have the same powers as regular police officers and wear the same uniform. They are initially posted to our Neighbourhood and Prevention or Response and Patrol teams, and are expected to deal with a range of incidents appropriately and safely.
Being a Special constable is a challenging and rewarding role. We're looking for people who can empathise with others and listen to their needs. They need to be willing to commit their time to Hampshire Constabulary in order to help protect their community.
To become a Special constable, you must:
be at least 18 years old
meet the required medical and fitness standards
be willing to give a minimum of 16 hours every month on a voluntary basis.
The training phase takes several months and can be very time consuming. There is an expectation that candidates will commit to attend all of the training course dates they are given. The course is split into two parts:
The first part is called Gateway. It is made up of a series of 11 workshops and workbooks. Vetting and medical checks will be completed and verified during this phase. At the end, all candidates are required to pass an exam.
The second phase, foundation training, takes place over seven weekends or at evening sessions during the week. It involves practical operational skills. On completion of Foundation Training, trainee Special constables receive their uniform and warrant card and are sworn in as a Special constable. They are then assigned a station and allocated a regular police officer as a tutor constable.
Training takes place at the Support and Training Headquarters at Netley, however candidates and trainee Special constables on the Isle of Wight will do most of their training on the island.
Employee Supported Policing
Employee Supported Policing (ESP) is a partnership scheme in which employers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight allow their staff to train and patrol as Special constables. ESP Special constables are required to carry out a total of 200 hours per year plus training. Employers are asked to provide paid leave for some or all of these hours. In most cases, patrols areas are relevant to the employer’s industry sector. For example, recruits from the retail industry patrol high streets and shopping centres.
Allowing staff to become Special constables offers huge benefits to organisations in terms of staff development – benefits that cannot be bought commercially. Transferable skills include communicating and negotiating effectively, staying calm under pressure, problem solving, decision making, team building, leadership and management and responsibility.
There are two main ways staff can be recruited as ESP Special constables:
internal recruitment, with the support of Hampshire Constabulary
the employer signs up to a written Memorandum of Understanding with a member of the ESP team. An ESP co-ordinator is then nominated to act as a point of contact between the employer and the force, responsible for driving awareness and the recruitment process.
These two methods work best together. Hampshire Constabulary provides a postal application system, staff and line management information packs and recruitment days on the employer’s premises for interested staff. All the employer has to do is to actively market the scheme to staff and managers and then support staff through the application process and when on duty part time.
It is also possible for existing Special constables to be brought into the ESP scheme.
We require that people interested in becoming a Special constable attend a recruitment event so we can provide more information on the role, recruitment process and the training commitment. You'll be able to get answers from current Special constables and other members of our team.