Welcome to the combined Hampshire and Thames Valley Police Specials website and thanks for your time in considering one of these three forces as a potential destination for a career as a Special Police Officer.
The site contains all the information you need to make up your mind about becoming a Special. It covers what being a Special is about, the three separate forces and the rewards and benefits on offer.
There’s even a case study page where you can read what existing Special Constables have to say about their role. If, when you’ve found the answers to all your questions, you think becoming a Special is right for you, you can register your details with us. It could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Each of the 43 Police forces in England and Wales has a Special Constabulary.
These teams consist of men and women, volunteers willing to devote some of their spare time towards policing the local community.
Specials have exactly the same powers in law as their regular colleagues and this includes the power of arrest. As a result, Specials get involved in all aspects of modern policing, including crime prevention, raids and warrants, high profile events, missing person enquiries, road traffic accidents, anti-social behaviour, burglaries and violent scenes.
Most Specials fit their volunteer role around their day job employment and must be able to commit to a minimum average of four hours per week. We believe this is a small sacrifice when you consider the enormous sense of personal achievement that comes from making such an important local contribution.
There are many reasons why people decide to become Special Constables. For some, it's about doing something worthwhile, exciting and challenging in their spare time. For others, the big attraction is the chance to give something back to the community. Then there's also the sense of camaraderie and the close working relationships that stem from being with like-minded individuals. Whatever your reasons, you can be sure the Special experience opens up a world of opportunity for personal and professional development.
Special Constables are calm, measured individuals with a mature outlook on life.
They’re people with the physical and mental endurance to finish their day job and then begin a shift with a completely different set of challenges.
Being a Special certainly isn’t for the faint hearted, nor is it for heroes looking to change the world by fighting crime. What we’re looking for are people who can empathise with others and listen to their needs; those who are willing to commit their time to the Police force in order to help protect the community.
If this describes you then we’d love you to get in touch with us. You can register your details on the ‘Events & Register’ page on this site.
Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Police are always recruiting Special Constables and applying to become one is simple.
To download an application form or for further details of how to apply to your preferred force, please click the links below:
Thames Valley Police
Find out more at https://applyonline.thamesvalley.police.uk
Alternatively, contact us at the Special Recruiting Team Tel: 01865 846612
Providing your application is successful and you’re still keen on becoming a Special, you’ll be invited to attend an eight-week formal training course.
Designed to give you a solid understanding of the essentials of police duties and to prepare you fully for your new role.
The exact location will depend on which force you intend to join, but once you’ve completed it, you’ll be attested at a ceremony in front of a magistrate. This marks the beginning of your volunteer career as a ‘Special’.
Training course schedule
- Five law weekends (residential)
- The law – including theft, burglary, public order and traffic.
- Police powers – including arrests.
- Diversity and equal opportunities.
- Radios – operation and use.
- Two officer safety training weekends (non-residential)
- Tactical communications and unarmed defensive tactics.
- Captor incapacitate spray.
- One first aid weekend (residential)
Thames Valley Police Initial Training
Thames Valley Police training consists of 8 weekends over a three month period (generally every other weekend). Weekends start on a Friday evening and run through to Sunday (afternoon) and are held at our Sulhamstead Training Centre (accommodation is provided for those living more than 20 crow miles from the site). Each year we run 8-10 intakes and a typical year will have intakes starting in January, March, April, May, July, September, October and November.
After passing the formal training, you'll train to become ‘independent patrol qualified'. You can then access training on an ongoing basis, so you can constantly learn new skills as and when you need. Your officer safety skills and first aid will be re-qualified annually. Promotion is a genuine possibility as there are six grades of volunteer police officer in Thames Valley Police: special constable, special sergeant, special inspector, special chief inspector, Assistant Chief Officer, Chief Officer (Head of the Special Constabulary).
To give you a better idea of what existing Specials get from their roles and to understand their reasons for making the commitment, we spoke to a number of Constables from our own teams. We’re sure you’ll find their responses useful in helping you to decide whether or not being a Special is right for you.
Special Inspector Jim Scott MBE
“During my time in the Special Constabulary, I've learned a lot about myself – including both strengths and weaknesses. The experience of being a volunteer police officer is totally different from my paid employment.
“I've been asked many times why I give up my spare time to help to police Bracknell. I always tell them that being a part of an organisation that can really help to change people's lives gives me a buzz like nothing else.”
Acting Special Chief Inspector Nina Tanner
“Being a special isn't all blue lights and glamour and it certainly isn't about playing at being a police officer. We have the same powers and responsibilities and are expected to provide the same high level of service as regular police officers.
“In the wet, cold, snow and sunshine, there is nothing better than knowing that you are part of a great team which patrols its local neighbourhood every week of the year.
“Even 12 years after I joined the Special Constabulary, I can still kick off my boots after a long shift and sit back with the feeling that I've made a difference to my local neighbourhood. How many people can say that?”
Special Constable Samuel Matthews
“I enjoy tackling local issues that concern the neighbourhood, to help to improve the quality of life for residents.
“As a neighbourhood officer, I'm able to gain an understanding of what is important for local people. I really enjoy going on patrol with officers as there is a great sense of team spirit.”
Click on the titles below to find out more...
How do Special Constables compare with PCSOs and normal Police Constables?
Do you have to pay for training or uniform?
What will training consist of?
What can I expect to do when I become a Special Constable?
Why do people join the Special Constabulary?
How does my career in the Special Constabulary progress?
and Chief Officer (head of the Special Constabulary).
How does a Special Constable rank against regular officers?
Will the public know that I am a special?
Can I specialise in a particular area?
Is there a height requirement?
What about qualifications?
What are the health requirements?
Is joining the Specials a stepping stone to joining the regular Police?