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The aim of the Ride-Along scheme is to improve public trust and confidence in Essex Police by making sure our processes and procedures are transparent, by allowing members of the public, on successful application, the opportunity to observe everyday policing activities. This will usually involve placing an observer with a Police Officer, Special Constable or Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), whilst on foot or vehicle based patrol within Community Policing Teams. To participate in a Ride-Along, you must be at least 18 years of age.
We can't be prescriptive about all policing incidents that may be attended during a Ride-Along. But the main priority of the accompanying officer is to ensure the safety of all persons involved, including themselves, the observer, their colleagues and the public of Essex.
You will not:
enter premises (you'll be expected to remain outside or in the police vehicle)
become involved in executing warrants or with incidents of domestic violence (but there may be instances, such as taking a statement, when with the occupier’s consent, you may enter the premises)
be left alone with detainees at any time
have any physical contact with members of the public or detainees
be allowed in police vehicles in response conditions or pursuits - you can only travel in the police cars from one incident to another on routine patrol.
Lay observation opportunity
Although the Ride-Along scheme is for people aged 18 years and over, we also run a similar scheme called the Lay Observation Opportunity. The application process is the same but you can only observe policing practices within our buildings and departments.
If you'd like to apply, please download and complete the fitness and vetting forms and return them to:
As soon as we receive your completed forms, we will be able to begin processing your application in order to arrange your Ride-Along. Please note however that the vetting process may take up to 4 weeks to complete.
If you have any questions regarding the completion of your application forms, or any other queries regarding your Ride-Along, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you have any specific access needs or any other requirements that will assist you to be able to participate, please bring these to our attention as soon as possible.
We hope that you enjoy your Ride-Along and benefit from the opportunity to observe every day policing challenges in Essex. We're always keen to hear your views and so after your ride-along you'll be given the opportunity to complete a feedback form.