Special Constables are volunteer Police Officers. They have the same police powers, uniforms and equipment as regular Police Officers but sacrifice their free time on a voluntary basis, organising their busy personal lives, day jobs and other commitments around police duties. They do not get paid, but are reimbursed for expenses.
A Special in Essex is someone who will be valued, supported and integrated into the wider policing family. They’re someone who will learn new skills, see new things and make tangible differences to the lives of the public they serve. A Special in Essex is someone who makes new friends, sees life from new perspectives and upholds the law.
A Special Constable is an extraordinary person, a remarkable person, a special person. Join us and be that person.
Once you have carefully read all the information in our application guide, you can complete an application to join the Essex Police Special Constabulary. Once your application has been reviewed you may be invited to attend an assessment centre. Candidates who are successful at the assessment centre will advance to the next steps of the application process which will include a fitness test, vetting, a medical and reference checks.
We look forward to receiving your application and welcoming you into one of the most fulfilling volunteer careers there is.
Am I eligible?
To become a Special Constable you must:
- Be a British, Commonwealth, European Economic Area (EEA) citizen or have an indefinite right to stay in the UK
- Not have a criminal record but some minor offences may not exclude you
- Have resided in the UK for a continuous period of three years immediately prior to the date of application
- Be able to meet our required medical and fitness standards and have a suitable BMI, for example 5.4 on the Bleep Test, with a BMI range of 18-30. You will be individually assessed.
- Due to this role being front-line and public facing, it is recommended that you have been well, without medication for stress, anxiety or depression for a period of time before you apply. You will be individually assessed.
Please read out medical FAQs for more information about the medical standards required for this role. Each case is always reviewed individually and candidates will never be excluded automatically on the basis of a medical condition or disability.
To join as a Special Constable, 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 would I do?
- Make our communities and its people safer by supporting the regular force
- Improve public confidence and support victims by detecting and investigating crime
- Improve communication with communities by providing an important link between them
- Assist the force with many aspects of policing, from high-visibility patrols to traffic operations, counter-terrorism and community safety
- Make Essex a safer place by working with colleagues to bring those responsible for crime to justice, from arrest through to conviction
What would I gain from being a Special?
- Make a difference to communities and people
- Build your confidence
- Develop new skills in a unique and challenging role
- Gain opportunities for promotion in a rank structure mirrored to the regulars
- Explore opportunities to progress in specialist policing roles
What do I need to be a Special?
- To be at least 18 years old at the start of your training
- Commit to a minimum of 16 hours per month for operational duties plus mandatory training duties
- Meet the required fitness standard
- Commit to the initial training requirements of 20 days
For a full list of the entry criteria please view our application guide.
Not sure yet?
Ready? Begin your application
Special Constables are subject to the same Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Behaviour as regular officers, whether on or off duty.
Being a constable is a privilege and bestows significant powers and responsibilities; a volunteer Police Officer has the same powers as a paid Police Officer and that carries with it the same expectations in terms of standards and public service.
If you believe that you have the skills, ability and professionalism to police your communities fairly, impartially and with the necessary commitment then we’d welcome your application.
The process and what happens next
Before you apply, firstly you need to make sure you are eligible by checking the Am I eligible to become a Special Constable in Essex Police section of the application guide.
Please also visit HM Government for detailed information on medical standards including which illnesses, injuries and disorders will affect your ability to perform the role of a police officer - these also apply to Specials.
If you are eligible you need to complete the initial application so we can invite you to the next stages.
You will be invited to an assessment centre where you will need to complete a fitness test (level 5.4 on a 15m bleep test), competency based interview (based on the Policing Professional Framework) and four written exams. You will find out your results within two weeks from the date of attendance.
To become a Special Constable, you must undertake 20 days of classroom based training before you can be attested. We currently offer two types of training sessions:
Intensive - Monday to Friday for four weeks
Alternate Weekends - Every other Saturday and Sunday for 20 weeks
Please note that availability for each course may vary depending on the number of applicants.
We’re giving you an exclusive insight into the training course our Special Constables embark on to equip them with full policing powers.
SC Fient, a TV Producer by day, has just started our four-week intensive training course and will be chatting to us about each week of the training course. Watch his first weekly blog below and tune in every Friday to see how he is getting on.
After your 20 days of training, you will be attested in front of a Magistrate and receive not only your warrant card, but also your full policing powers and the start of your adventure as a Special Constable.
Have a question? Please contact us.
In your area
You probably care most about the places where you walk, cycle or drive; where you exercise the dog, go for a jog, let your kids out to play or where you pop to the shops. You might have thought that you don’t see enough “Bobbies on the Beat” in these places? Well, why don’t you volunteer as a Community Special Constable and be that bobby?
We want a Special Constable in every community in Essex. We already have Specials working on local policing and community policing teams and across a number of specialist areas, but Community Special Constables are something new, something different, something that delivers visible policing at a really local level.