Want to become a Special Constable?

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PEOPLE looking for an exciting challenge that will give them new skills while making good use of their spare time are being invited to become a Special Constable.

Special Constables are unpaid volunteer police officers who have the same powers as regular police officers, wear the same uniform and are issued with the same equipment. Special Constables carry out local patrols, police local events, take part in crime reduction projects and help challenge anti-social behaviour in our communities.

There are currently over 400 Specials working with Lancashire Constabulary, but a recruitment drive is now in place to get more volunteers to join the ranks.

The latest recruitment evening will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th, at Greenbank Police Station, Whitebirk Drive, Blackburn. The event is aimed at those who wish to become involved in and around the Blackburn area.

A Special Constable is asked to work a minimum of four hours per week in a single shift, but the working hours are flexible so people can give more time if they wish. Some local companies actively support staff who wish to be a Special Constable by allowing them to undertake some of their police duties during their normal working time. No formal qualifications are needed, but applicants must be over 18.

While the position is unpaid, people can gain a wealth of experience, develop professionally and get the chance to give something back to their local community. Being a Special Constable also offers an insight into working for the force and many decide to go on and pursue a career as a police officer.

Acting Special Sgt Paul Shoreman, who works as a countryside ranger in the day, joined the Special Constabulary in 2008. He said: “I had always been interested in police work, but also I wanted to challenge myself to see if it was a role I could perform well.

“Being a Special gives a fantastic sense of being part of a professional team and the opportunities to learn important skills that can also be used in everyday life. The feeling that you are helping individuals and the wider community in all manner of ways gives me a real sense of achievement.”

The event on March 28th will allow people to hear more from other Special Constables and ask any questions that they may have. Places are limited, so people are asked to register their interest with Specials co-ordinator Nigel Walker on 01254 353225 or via Nigel.walker@lancashire.pnn.police.uk

More information on the Special Constabulary can be found at http://www.lancashire.police.uk/recruitment/special-constable