Police drive for more ‘Specials’

SUSSEX Police is recruiting 120 new Special Constables.

There are already 310 Specials in the county, with the force aiming for a total of 500 by March 2013.

They provide a ‘vital link between regular police and the local community’, explained a spokesperson.

“Being a Special Constable is one of the most exciting and interesting ways to serve the community.

“In Sussex, 310 ordinary people do something extraordinary by giving up time to work as a volunteer police officer, with the same equipment and powers, and much of the same training, as full-time officers.

“Playing a vital role in neighbourhood policing teams, they can also train to undertake specialist roles in response and road policing.”

Chief Constable Martin Richards said, “Many say being a Special Constable is one of the most rewarding things they have ever done.

“In the last six months volunteers have shown their enthusiasm for the role by devoting more than 40,000 hours to supporting Sussex policing teams.

“The whole community benefits from their unstinting efforts.”

Natascha Lampert-Montier, who works for Sussex Police’s IS department, became a Special Constable just over two years ago. She said, “It’s wholly different to my work in IT. For two-and-a-half years I have had the chance to work with police officers on the road policing unit, on response attending emergency calls, and on patrol from 8pm to 4am in Hastings town centre on Operation Marble.

“I have taken part in leaflet drops and high-visibility patrols with the Neighbourhood Policing Team and helped support and manage the crowds at bonfires and carnivals.

“I like the variety of work and can choose my hours. I am a district liaison officer and lead a police cadet unit - opportunities I would never have had without being a Sussex Special.

“This fulfilling role has enabled me to give something back to my community, but also given me many valuable life skills, and make many good friends.”

Prospective Special Constables must be available for a minimum of four hours each week, learning about aspects of police work and undergoing full training.

To apply fill out the application on the Sussex Police website or call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.