West Yorkshire Police is recruiting Special Constables (30 May 2019)

A school caretaker, a plumber and a university professor are among those who protect our communities as part of West Yorkshire Police's Special Constabulary - and you could join them on the frontline.

West Yorkshire Police is marking 'National Specials Weekend' 31 May to 2 June by opening recruitment for a new cohort of Specials to join the Force.

Specials are a valuable asset to all police forces and form a strong link between the police and the communities we serve.

The recruitment window will be open from tomorrow (Friday 31 May) until 24 June.

Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: "Special Constables and volunteers are a vital part of the police service and help prevent and investigate crime, as well as helping to reduce disorder and antisocial behaviour.

"Specials have the same powers as police officers, regularly go out on patrols and help protect the communities we serve - they are invaluable.

"We immensely respect and appreciate all those who volunteer and give up their time to help us protect our communities, especially those who do so alongside their careers.

"National Specials Weekend is the perfect opportunity to recognise the hard work they do, and to hopefully inspire other members of our communities to join our Special Constabulary."

Specials have the same powers as police officers and go through very similar training as ordinary officers.

There are currently 407 Specials who volunteer with West Yorkshire Police.

Steve Allan followed in his son's footsteps and joined the Special Constabulary in July, after watching son Luke become a Special in 2016.

Steve said: "I was always curious what Luke got up to as a Special when he was on duty, so when the opportunity came to apply, I thought why not?

"I would recommend becoming a Special to anyone - I love being part of a great team, every shift is different and you never know what the next call will be. I would do more hours if my wife would let me!"

To mark National Specials Weekend, on 1 June, Steve will join Luke on an operation to tackle antisocial driving. It will be the second time the father and son duo has worked together.

Luke said: "I joined West Yorkshire Police as a Special to give something back to our communities and to do something meaningful with my spare time.

"After attesting, I would often tell my Dad what sorts of things I would get up to and the next thing I knew, he had applied to be a Special too.

"Joining the Specials is the best decision I've made. I've gained new skills, met new friends and grown as a person. Every shift is different and gives you a whole new understanding of the areas you serve."

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "Special Constables are a really important part of the West Yorkshire Police family and enable an even stronger link into our communities.

"If you are looking for a volunteering role like no other, that is challenging, rewarding and full of opportunities, then the Special Constabulary is definitely for you!

"I'd like to show my appreciation and say a big thank you to all our Special Constables, as well as our police volunteers, for selflessly giving up their spare time to help keep our communities safe."

West Yorkshire Police is keen to receive applications from people from diverse groups and backgrounds, such as BAME applicants, members of the LGBT+ community and people with disabilities. This forms part of the Force's ongoing commitment to better represent our communities.

To become a Special, you need to be at least 18-years-old and there is no upper age limit.

Specials will initially be deployed to a Neighbourhood Policing Team Neighbourhood Policing Team or on a Patrol Team, before applying to be involved in specialist postings such as with the Roads Policing Unit and Operational Support.

No formal qualifications are required to be a Special, but a good standard of education is required. Applicants need to be able to speak and write in fluent English and not hold a criminal record.

Candidates are required to be in good health and will be asked to complete a job-related fitness test.

For more information about the Special Constabulary and to find out how to apply, please visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/special-constables

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019