Special Constabulary

Special Constables are a true sign of the partnership between the police and the public. They provide a vital support to a whole range of policing activities. Of the many voluntary organisations, there can be few that offer the variety of experience and excitement you will find in the Special Constabulary.

Specials provide a vital link between the police and the diverse communities that we serve, helping the force to meet policing needs and increase the level of confidence and satisfaction of the public.

Specials are sworn in by a magistrate in the same manner as a regular police officer. Specials work alongside their regular colleagues, they’re based at the same police stations, have the same powers in law, including the power of arrest, and wear the same uniform.

You will find the work of a Special Constable varied, interesting and at times, exciting. But above all you will have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to reduce crime, disorder and fear in Cambridgeshire.

'Specials', as the Special Constables are known, come from all walks of life. They’re teachers, taxi drivers, accountants and secretaries and they all volunteer a minimum of four hours a week to their local police areas.


Cambridgeshire is a progressive county when it comes to the kinds of duties that members of the Special Constabulary can perform. The Specials are embedded within the regular force and therefore you will be working side by side with your regular colleagues, responding to all kinds of incidents.

As a rule you be involved in mainstream policing. However once qualified for independent patrol there are opportunities to specialise into other departments, Roads Policing, CID and safeguarding vulnerable people are some examples.

Specials also work at football matches and other public events such as galas and concerts. They support regular officers in times of emergency and assist with other matters such as crime prevention, taking crime reports, witness interviews, enquiries, escorts, youth diversion and transport.

Special Constables drive police cars at varying levels of competency, to be able to respond to public needs, and complete the same driving courses as regular police officers.

Special Constables are not paid, but do receive meal and mileage expenses to ensure they’re not out of pocket when they turn up to perform a duty.

So why join?

People join the Special Constabulary for many different reasons. Some want to give something back to the community, others want to expand their skill sets and life experiences, and some are interested in joining the regular police force and want to know more about what police do.

Joining the Special Constabulary opens up a world of opportunity for personal and professional development. Undergoing the training and then performing the role of a police officer is challenging, but makes a welcome break from day-to-day life, bringing excitement and new insight with every day you volunteer.

Benefits of being a Special Constable include:

  • Significant learning and development opportunities that would bring a competitive advantage in the employment market,
  • Gain confidence,
  • Significantly widen your life experiences,
  • Developing teamwork and problem solving skills,
  • Helping the people and communities of Cambridge to be safe by delivering a high quality policing service.

Who can join:

We welcome applications from people of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, ages, genders and sexual orientations. However, there are some eligibility conditions that all applicants need to meet, so please review the below requirements before submitting an application.

To apply you need to be 18 or over, able to cope in a busy environment and regularly have time to spare.

Applicants need to be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you're a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is a resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain. All applicants must have a minimum of three years UK residency.

If you have a criminal record, this doesn't mean you're automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form and if you have any questions on this, you can contact HREnquiries@Herts.pnn.police.uk for advice.

Anyone who has a tattoo which could be offensive to any religion or belief, or is in any way discriminatory, violent or intimidating, will not be accepted. If acceptable, tattoos on the face, visible above a collar line or on the hands must be covered if you are successful in your application. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application.

If you are struggling with debt, you may still be able to apply. You just need to supply us with evidence of your ability to manage your debts successfully. However, if you have any outstanding county court judgments or you are not discharged from bankruptcy, then you are automatically ineligible.


We are able to take this into account for your selection procedures if you have a report confirming your condition which must be provided to us during your application submission. For police officers this report must be carried out as an adult. Support and any reasonable adjustments are available during recruitment, selection and training in these roles.

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