Why did you join the GMP Special Constabulary?
I joined the Special Constabulary in 2014. Having had first-hand experience of being brought up in the care system and shelters, I saw the potential criminal/negative impact that this can cause. For that reason I wanted to bring my experience of this and use it in the public domain - being a Special is a perfect fit.
What are the best bits about being a Special?
I love the fact that every day is different. There are a lot of misconceptions of what a Special Constable does. We are given the opportunity to get involved in important operations that are jointly planned by Specials and Regulars. We are very much part of the Integrated Neighbourhood Policing Team and we support the Regulars on busy nights patrolling hot spot areas such as the town centre. My confidence has really improved by dealing with large numbers of people, and I have found that I have a talent for dealing with very sensitive and difficult situations which has also benefitted me in my day job.
How do you balance your work/social life with your responsibilities of being a Special?
I can concentrate 100% on my career yet do what I love by volunteering as a Special too – and my company totally support this by giving me 10 days additional paid leave per year for volunteering as a Special; this makes work/life balance much easier.
What was the reaction of your friends and family when you decided to undertake volunteering for the police?
My family are very proud of my achievement and I’ve had a very positive reaction from friends. I still get a lot of questions, however, about what I do, as many cannot grasp the fact I work 9-5 and then become a volunteer police officer in my spare time.
Would you recommend this volunteering opportunity to others?
Without a doubt this has been the most rewarding and positive thing I have ever done. This isn’t about putting on a uniform. It’s about helping others and improving your own life. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills and make a positive impact in the local community.
If you are interested in becoming a Special Constable, please email Special.Constabulary@gmp.police.uk