Special Constables have the same power, uniform and responsibilities as regular (paid) police officers but volunteer on a part-time basis.
Specials – as they are known – come from all walks of life and backgrounds bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the role. They volunteer a minimum of sixteen hours per month to support local policing.
Being a Special Constable is not easy. You will be faced with challenging and confrontational situations that most people will never come across in their lifetime. But the rewards can vastly outweigh the challenges. You will gain confidence and new skills, work with a team of equally amazing people, and ultimately, you will have helped people in need or made their life better.
Ensuring public safety
Assisting at the scene of accidents, fires or incidents, helping to control situations and ensuring that people are safe.
Providing security and crowd control at major public events – preventing injuries and disorder.
Carrying out high-visibility foot patrols to deter and detect criminals.
Educating businesses and the community about crime and how to avoid it.
Talking to school children about crime reduction and community safety to help them stay safe and make the right choices.
Confronting anti-social behaviour on the streets such as gangs or intimidating behaviour.
Managing alcohol-related incidents such as public drunkenness or violence.
Enforcing road safety laws in local communities.
Conducting house-to-house enquiries to gather information and support larger enquiries.
Involvement in police operations to disrupt and arrest offenders.
Visiting victims of crime to gather evidence to progress an investigation.
Write your own statements, use Police systems and present evidence in court to support the justice system in prosecuting offenders.
See a different world
Out on patrol, you will deal with situations and people you would probably never encounter in your day-to-day life. Most of all, you will get to see the real impact of crime on people’s lives and the extraordinary power you have as an individual to make a real difference. Being a Special is both exciting and rewarding and for many it is a life changing decision. Whatever your plans, you will find working as a member of the police service, alongside regular officers of all ranks, police staff and other volunteers, an exciting and rewarding experience.
Above all, the feeling that you really are making a difference – making a positive contribution in the fight against crime
Sense of personal fulfilment
Develop personal and professional skills
Learn and develop many transferable skills that often support paid employment or other roles/personal life: e.g. managing confrontational situations, leadership and personal safety
Personal satisfaction of learning new skills and gaining confidence
Learn more about policing
Show your community that you care
Meet new people
Work as part of a team
Enjoy new experiences
Discover new things about yourself and just how much you are capable of
To apply to become a Special you must:
be aged 18 or over
be a British Citizen, a European Union/European Economic Area national or commonwealth citizen, or a foreign national with no restrictions on your stay in the UK
have a minimum of three years continuous residency in the UK, with less than 12 months spend abroad in the last three years (with some exceptions for those living on a UK military base)
be able to pass our fitness test, reaching level 5.4 on a 15 metre shuttle run (bleep test)
New for 2022, our newly recruited Special Constables will now be embarking on a new training journey in collaboration with the Open University.
In 2020, the College Of Policing created the new Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF), a new curriculum designed to professional policing across all entry routes, including Special Constables. The new Special Constabulary Learning Programme (SCLP) has now been released and adopted by forces in England and Wales to incorporate the new curriculum.
Why do Special Constables need to follow the new curriculum?
The SCLP is designed to ensure Special Constables receive the same quality training as that of a regular Police Officer. Special Constables, on duty, are recognised by the public as Police Officers and it is imperative for safety and knowledge that their training is that of the standard of a PC.
By also professionalising their training, it means they will be receive a recognised qualification to enhance their own personal achievements and to also transfer over should they choose to become a PC.
How long will be training take to complete?
Learning as a Special Constable is never complete. However, to complete the SCLP at North Yorkshire Police will take between 18 month and 24 months (this will depend on your availability to complete the learning at your own pace). You will be on patrol after your initial training (approximately 3 months) whilst you continue to develop your skills and complete your Occupational Competency Portfolio (OCP).
Your initial training will include a compulsory requirement for you to take a full 7 days to complete your Officer Safety Training (OST).
Once you have completed your initial training and reached Directed Patrol Status (DPS), North Yorkshire Police has a great pathway of options for your to continue your own learning and development!
What does this mean if a Special Constable wants to then join as a PC?
One of the biggest benefits of the SCLP is that when a Special Constable applies to be a PC, their learning through the SCLP can be transferred over to their PC training. It is recognised learning and will not need to be repeated.
In some forces, Special Constables completing their learning and knowledge until the point of Dependent Patrol Status (DPS) will allow them to transfer over to becoming a PC without the requirement of the National Assessment Centre.
Why have North Yorkshire Police collaborated with the Open University?
The Open University currently provides North Yorkshire Police’s Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship. As the training contains the same modules, it was important to ensure our SCs receive the same standard of training as our PCS. It will also allow for an easy transition for those who wish to pathway from SC to PC.
We also love the remote learning ability that the Open University has to offer, allowing some aspects of our Special Constable training to be easily accessible and can be completed at the every Special Constable’s own schedule.
What are my options if I do not aspire to be a Police Officer?
Once you have completed your SCLP to the point of being a Dependent Patrol Status Special Constable, North Yorkshire have designed a number of options to enable Special Constables to continue to develop, learn and gain new skills through specialisms or to continue to police with regular response teams. Options include:
Response Special Constable
Working with the Neighbour Policing Teams
Policing with the Road Policing Group
Policing with the Rural Task Force
Working and support NYP’s School Liaison officers
And more to come!
No specific qualifications are required to enable you to become a Special Constable.
However, should you wish to transfer your learning to being a Police Constable, under the current apprenticeship scheme you will require maths and english level 3 (GCSE- C). Not having these qualifications will not stop you applying to be a Special Constable and NYP will support you in gaining these qualifications should you wish to journey through to becoming a PC.
A conviction or caution is not an automatic eliminator. You must ensure that you disclose all details of any offences however minor, failure to declare any offences may mean that your application is rejected. Checks will be made, each will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
Depending on the severity of the conviction this may affect your application, for example if you have been convicted of drink driving in the last 10 years then it is likely your application will be refused.
Criminal record of a family member
If your family member has been convicted of a serious offence - eg burglary - then it is likely that your application will be refused.
Applicants must have not been declared bankrupt with outstanding debts, have outstanding County Court Judgements against them or be subject to a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). If you have any of these then it is likely that your application will be refused.
An individual who has spent a significant period of time overseas without returning to the UK, but with the intention of doing so in the future, such as an individual who takes a gap year prior to or following university or an individual who goes travelling for a year, is considered to have taken an extended holiday. As such, they will maintain residency in the UK and therefore be eligible for consideration under the Residency Criteria.
North Yorkshire Police apply a maximum time spent out of the UK as 12 months and must be for the reasons stated above (working outside the UK for an extended period is not covered in the above), however, we will discuss any potential issues on a case by case basis.
You can make 2 choices within your application as to the preferred locations you would be willing to work. We will try to accommodate your preference. However, we would usually look to post you to a location nearest to your home address unless there are specific circumstances to preclude this.
If you don’t live within the force area
You can still apply if you live outside the North Yorkshire area. However please consider how far you may have to travel as North Yorkshire Police will not pay for travel expenses outside the force area. If you feel that the distance is too far to travel then you may wish to consider applying to the force within your local area if they are recruiting.
To be ‘Sworn in’, means that you will be in front of a magistrate, possibly at court and will be required to recite the oath of allegiance to the Queen.
Special Constables within North Yorkshire Police are voluntary - they are not paid. You will however be reimbursed for travel expenses and issued with a uniform and appropriate protective equipment.
Specials who live outside the North Yorkshire Police area can only claim mileage from the border to the venue and back.
A Special Constable in North Yorkshire is issued with the following: A stab vest, slash resistant gloves, Asp, handcuffs, PAVA incapacitant spray, boots and high visibility clothing.
Ideally we would like you to commit a minimum of sixteen hours a month.
During your initial training the dates and times you are required to volunteer will be fixed. However, after your initial training the majority of duties you undertake will be flexible and dependent on your availability—with ongoing training the only exception.
After your initial training, attendance is welcome when you are available to attend. Often Special Constables choose to work weekends because it suits them, but this is not compulsory. Special Constables can't be made to report for duty if they don’t want to or can’t make it.
Special Constables volunteer their time when they choose to. Nobody will try and force you to work at times that are not suitable. All we ask is that following training, you commit to a minimum of four hours per week – that’s an average of 16 hours per month. However, there are occasions such as a major incident when you maybe contacted at short notice to ask if you can assist with the policing operation.
All Special Constables are advised to inform their employers of their appointment and the hours they are likely to perform each week so as to satisfy certain requirements under the Working Time Regulations (WTR).
How to contact us
All the answers that you need to know about the recruitment process are contained here. If you still have questions you can e-mail us at talent&[email protected]
Register for alerts at our recruitment website - we'll get in touch when the next round of recruitment launches.
Please also keep an eye on this website and our social media feeds @NYorksPolice Facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice for further information.
If you would like to join us, we are looking for resilient people with a real passion for serving the public, with life experience and customer service skills.
Effective communication skills and strong working ethics are vital attributes and you must be able to commit your spare time to the intensive training period, as well as giving up 16 hours each month.