Volunteering as a Special Constable gives you the chance to do something different after your day job. It’s an opportunity to shake up your routine, learn new skills and make a difference to people’s lives.
Applications to join us as a Special Constable are open year-round and we are always looking for individuals to join us as a volunteer at TeamNP . Training courses are currently scheduled for February 2024.
What is a Special Constable?
Special Constables are volunteer police officers who play a key role in helping us to fight crime and keep our communities safe. Our 130+ Northumbria Specials have the same uniform and same powers as regular officers and deal with the same types of incidents as their officer colleagues.
What could I be doing on an average shift as a Special Constable?
Volunteering as a Special offers plenty of variety, and a chance to mix it up from your day job. You could find yourself:
- responding to 999 calls
- foot and vehicle patrols
- tackling antisocial behaviour
- road safety initiatives
- house-to-house enquiries
- helping ensure public safety and security at both local and major events
- presenting evidence in court
- taking part in ‘hotspot’ operations to tackle underage drinking, criminal damage, and nuisance and public disorder
- offering crime prevention advice
Besides volunteering alongside officers in our Response and Neighbourhood teams, more experienced Specials also have the opportunity to join our Traffic team, helping to keep our roads safe and tackle dangerous drivers.
What skills do I need to join?
We are looking for much the same personal qualities in Specials that we look for in regular police officers – integrity, honesty, tact and communication skills. We are looking for individuals who thrive on variety, extensive public contact and a high level of personal responsibility. Make sure to read our full eligibility criteria before you apply.
How will you take care of my wellbeing as a volunteer?
We invest in a whole host of wellbeing measures to make sure you’re safe, healthy and supported while you’re volunteering for us. Our 24/7 employee assistance line gives you access to welfare counselling, our mental health first aiders are on-hand to offer immediate support and our award-winning trauma team are available if you’ve attended an incident of a distressing nature or faced an assault whilst on duty. Meanwhile our range of staff support associations – from the Disability and Carers network to our LGBT+ association are here to support and represent your needs, beliefs and values.
The benefits of joining Team NP
You can request to operate from a particular location and we will aim to accommodate your preference. Once you’re at the final offer stage of the application process, you’ll speak with our Talent Acquisition team where you can let them know you’re preferred area. If successful, we’ll update you on the station you’ll be based at before you begin the training programme.
Those committed to taking on this exciting and rewarding role will need to complete a minimum of 200 hours annually, equating to 4 hours per week. This includes time spent performing duty and undertaking training. However, you will get most benefit if you are able to work a full 8-12 hour shift with your regular officer colleagues.
You can also get the best from your volunteering by working our peak times of evenings/nights, weekends, bank holidays and key events in the sporting calendar. Becoming a volunteer Special Constable is a commitment and it’s important that you consider how this will fit into your work, family and social life.
Special Constable training is currently a blended approach of classroom based training, pre-recorded sessions and live online sessions which you log into from home.
The training will be held over an 18-week period, made up of Saturdays (8am to 4pm) Thursdays (6pm to 8pm/10pm) and some Sundays.
The course will involve training in: Professional Standards, Self Defence, First Aid, ICT, Legislation, Powers, Policies and Procedures and more.
After successful completion of your training, you will be expected to work through a portfolio, demonstrating your competency in different areas of the Special Constable role – once complete, you will have demonstrated that you can carry out the role safely and lawfully, and will be given a level of independence.
We accept applications for Special Constables year-round. However the next start date for training is scheduled for Feb 2024.
Yes, as a Special Constable, you are entitled to claim for your mileage to and from your police base. We will of course provide your uniform and kit required for duty too.
The fitness test is designed to assess whether you’ve got the stamina needed to be a volunteer Special Constable, not an Olympic athlete.
It involves a multi-stage shuttle run, also known as the ‘bleep test’, which is a physical test of your aerobic capacity (stamina). It involves running between two points that are 15 metres apart (a “shuttle”). Your pace will steadily increase with each shuttle. The idea is to reach the other side before the next bleep. You need to be able to reach level 5.4 – which is around a steady jog pace.
If a disability or medical condition makes it difficult to complete the standard fitness test, we offer an alternative test, where candidates can walk or run on a treadmill, with the gradient increasing over time.
The application process
Click on the icons to find out more about how you can become a Special Constable.
What you need to know
What you need to know