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Leigh-on-Sea Town Council 1996

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Community Special Constables Scheme

Leigh-on-Sea Town Council funds a Special Constable programme in Leigh-on-Sea as part of continued efforts to help combat crime and disorder in the area. The Town Council has assigned funding for up to five Special Constables.

What is a Special Constable?

Special constables are volunteer police officers with the same powers as regular officers. Specials spend approximately four hours a week supporting the police to tackle crime in their communities. (Duty hours may vary from force to force.)

Specials are recruited locally by all 43 Home Office police forces in England and Wales. They work in partnership with regular officers and the wider policing family, such as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

Who can be a Special Constable? 

The basic requirements are:

  • You must either be a national of a country within the European Economic Area or, if not, have leave to remain in the UK free of restrictions.
  • You must be at least 18 years old when making your application.
  • You should be in good health, and of good character.
  • You must be able to speak and write English competently.

You must not: 

  • Be registered bankrupt, subject to CCJs or IVAs
  • Omit to declare any offences or 'spent' convictions
  • Have defaulted accounts
  • Ideally not have been convicted or cautioned for a serious arrestable offence
  • Applicants who have received cautions, reprimands, formal warnings and final warnings will not be considered until a full five years from the date of the sanction

What do Special Constables do? 

Specials take part in frontline police work. They can spend much of their time on the streets, doing intelligence-based patrols in crime hotspots or taking part in crime-prevention initiatives. This could mean anything from keeping town centres safe at night to conducting house-to-house enquiries or helping prevent vulnerable members of the community from becoming victims of crime.

It is hard, demanding work - but from your first time on duty you will see the impact you are having. It is also extremely varied, and you could easily find yourself doing any of the following:

Ensuring public safety

  • Assisting at the scene of accidents, fires or incidents - helping control situations, ensuring people are safe.
  • Providing security and crowd control at major public events - preventing injuries and disorder.

 Preventing crime

  • Carrying out high-visibility foot patrols to deter and detect criminals.
  • Educating businesses and the community about crime and how to avoid it to reduce crime and people's fear of it happening.
  • Talking to schoolchildren about crime reduction and community safety to help them stay safe and make the right choices.

Tackling crime

  • 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.

Investigating crime

  • Conducting house-to-house enquiries to gather information and support larger enquiries.
  • Taking part in police operations to disrupt and arrest offenders.

Securing convictions

  • Presenting evidence in court to support the justice system in prosecuting offenders.

How do you become a Special Constable? 

To become a Special Constable you must first apply through your local police force. 

Read a copy of there Application Guide for the full details and to check your eligibility. 

Step 1: Make an initial application through the Essex Police Website

Step 2: You will be invited to an assessment centre to complete a fitness test, competency based interview and take 4 written exams. Results will be posted within two weeks 

Step 3: Pre-Employment checks will take place, you will need to attend a medical examination, provide DNA and fingerprints, provide information about yourself and attend an induction day. 

Step 4: To become a Special Constable you must undertake 20 days of classroom based training before you can be attested. This can be done either as an intensive course which is Monday to Friday over 4 weeks, or on alternative weekends for 20 weeks.

Step 5: After 20 days of training you will be attested in front of a Magistrate and receive your warrant card, plus full policing powers.  

Special Constables: Disspelling the Myths 

  • Special Constables DO have all the same access to training, equipment and opportunities as regular police officers 
  • Special Constables DO have the same powers as regular police officers
  • Special Constables CAN drive police vehicles
  • There is NO minimum time requirement that a Special Constable must complete 
  • Special Constables CAN be a part of specialised teams, such as marine, operational, support, drones, search, dogs
  • There is NO upper age limit to be a Special Constable 
  • Special Constables have NO paperwork to complete
  • Training and support IS ongoing for Special Constables with an excellent support network in place
  • Workplaces often ALLOW their staff to undertake 8 hours of volunteering a month as part of their normal working day

Why do you want to become a Special Constable? 

  • Do you want to be more pro-active in your Community? 
  • Do you want a pathway into the regular police force?
  • Do you want to volunteer for an exciting role? 
  • Do you want to fulfill childhood aspirations? 
  • Do you have transferable skills from your day job that you want to use to help your Community? 
  • Do you want to add a career booster to your CV?
  • Do you want to have access to leadership opportunities? 

Why does Leigh-on-Sea Town Council need Special Constables? 

  • To have an active police presence within the Town
  • To help tackle and deter anti-social behaviour around the Town 
  • To help deter break in's and burglaries 
  • To deter a gang culture among youths, in turn preventing drug misuse, grafitti, vandalism and other crimes